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Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis will sell up to 500,000 shares of stock to help set up a relief fund for his employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The recreational vehicle and outdoor retailer’s announcement comes as many travel-related companies have bleak prospects in the short term while customers hole up at home due to the outbreak of the virus.
“The associates are what make this Company what it is and while they are not asking for a handout, I will do everything I can to protect their personal and financial well-being,” Lemonis said in a statement. “They have always taken care of the customer, taken care of each other and taken care of me.”
“We are in unprecedented times and we are all making sacrifices, but it is important for us all to do more and I’m reaching into my pocket to protect the team,” he continued.
Lemonis bought $1.7 million of Camping World’s publicly traded shares in March, according to Barron’s. Shares closed at a record low $3.87 apiece on March 18, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
One Camping World employee who worked as a social media coordinator said he was laid off because the company needed to downsize due to the financial impact of the virus, according to The Times, a local Illinois news outlet.
“I was in such shock that I just didn’t know what to say,” Cody Delmendo, 28, of Grayslake, Illinois, told The Times.
Camping World, one of the top RV dealers, said in 2019 it was shutting down dozens of stores that did not cater to the outdoor vehicles market amid a downturn in business.