[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="262"] (Photo: Casey Logan/The News-Press)[/caption]
According to a statement made to NewsPress.com, Mike Rother, senior vice president of operations and general manager for Dealer.com, Cox Automotive's Dealer.com is due to close its brick-and-mortar locations in the heart of downtown Fort Myers, Florida as well in Manhattan Beach, California.
The Vermont-based Dealer.com provides a platform of advertising, website and managed services products that allow dealer groups, retailers and agencies to leverage digital technology and data to better connect with their customers.
Cox Automotive which acquired Dealer.com in 2015, also owns Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book among others, offers digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the automotive world internationally.
“As we strive to fully integrate Dealer.com into Cox Automotive and establish ways to work more efficiently, we are confident this move will help position us to achieve our long-term goals,” said Rother.
It is unclear how many people in Fort Myers will be out of work due to the closure. A Dealer.com spokesman said some of the employees will be able to continue to perform their roles remotely, but the work structure and staffing plan is still being evaluated.
Speaking about the Florida Dealer.com location, Gary Tasman, a commercial real estate expert and broker with Cushman & Wakefield in Fort Meyers, called it extremely valuable real estate. “It’s right in the heart of the entertainment district and the highest and best use may be related to entertainment, maybe something with a millennial focus. It could also be very desirable office space. There’s a lot of uses for it.”