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Back to the future Amidst the third iteration of UK lockdown, it’s easy to focus on the negatives as we long for the return of travel, restaurants, sports stadiums and festivals. Yet as we enter February and the days lengthen, it’s estimated that over 10% of the UK population have now received their first vaccination; that pace will only quicken as the process evolves and patients get younger. Following the postponement of digiBike* – an online-only event – it’s clear that talk of live events remains premature, but there’s a serious possibility that the cycling industry could have its cake and eat it; return to ‘normal’ while maintaining increased revenue. At the turn of the year, the BA’s Market Data Service found that: - Retailers saw sales grow by 60% from March, while e-bike sales more than doubled - The UK cycling market was estimated to be worth £2.2 billion by the end of 2020 With these figures in mind, this month’s BikeBiz largely steps away from COVID matters and instead focuses on other challenges to come. Rebecca Morley tackles Brexit with the BA’s Peter Eland, while Tannus’ Jazz Walia, Cyclescheme’s Adrian Warren and D-Fly’s Jez Williman identify their key trends for 2021. This year, we’re expanding our BikeBiz Awards content to not only reward fantastic, innovative work in our industry, but also to provide our winners with the platform to showcase what makes their business tick. In this edition, we caught up with Madison and Muc-Off, winners of our 2020 P&A accolades, and we will continue to highlight each of our worthy winners in the months to come. For now, we hope you enjoy our February edition of BikeBiz.
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7 Points of View Jazz Walia, Adrian Warren and Jez Williman look at key industry trends we can expect to see in 2021
BikeBiz Awards 2020: The P&A winners Madison and Muc-Off, winners in the P&A categories of last year’s BikeBiz Awards, tell us what it means to win, how they adapted to 2020’s challenges and what’s in store this year
30 What does Brexit mean for the bike industry? Rebecca Morley catches up the BA’s Peter Eland to find out what the industry now faces following Brexit and how optimistic we can be looking forward
36 Reinventing repair Bike repair workshop Handlebars recently opened its latest branch in Hyde Park. CEO Jeyda Heselton talks transforming disused spaces and putting the service back into servicing
40 Five minutes with… Motorex This month, BikeBiz catches up with Martin Wabnegger, area sales manager for Motorex
Simple, quick and efficient Proviz Sports launched a new B2B website for IBDs towards the end of last year. Rebecca Morley catches up with co-founder Anthony Langly-Smith to find out more
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POINTS OF VIEW
The year of the e-bike? By Jazz Walia, CEO, Tannus Tyres
n my opinion, this will be the year that e-bike usage skyrockets as consumers finally embrace technological advancements that have sparked the cycling industry into the modern age. In a new era of city mobility, e-bikes, without a doubt, are going to become the vehicle of choice. You only have to glance at the numbers to recognise that this is more than a passing fad – the e-bike market was valued at £4.9 billion in 2018, but that figure is forecasted to have more than doubled by 2023, when it is predicted to have grown to £11.8 billion – this is according to the Confederation of the European Bike Industry and The Light Electric Vehicle Association. While the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many industries, it has only accelerated the market’s appetite for electric bikes. Even pre-COVID, the e-bike sector was expected to grow by double digits every year for the foreseeable future. But now, with consumers becoming increasingly health-conscious and looking for a viable alternative to public transport, the e-bike seems to tick all the boxes and the sales figures show they’re proving to be more popular than ever. When you add on the environmental benefit and the ability to weave through traffic sweat-free, it’s easy to see why the e-bike is the most talked-about method of transport this year.
This, in conjunction with mooted plans from the UK Government to boost the use of electric bikes with a taxpayer-funded scheme, is why I believe there will be a proliferation of e-bikes on our streets in 2021. According to The Times, the e-bike funding scheme could be similar to the grants available for plug-in vehicles, which offer up to 35% discount off the purchase cost. Ministers hope the programme will help those who are less fit or older, who might be daunted by regular bikes, to get back in the saddle. They could be given up to a third off the £600-£3,000 cost of a new bike to encourage them to exercise more and leave the car at home. When you consider that sales of electric bikes and e-scooters tripled in 2020, it does make you wonder – are we on the cusp of an electric revolution here?
‘While the pandemic has disrupted many industries, it has only accelerated the market’s appetite for e-bikes. Even pre-COVID, the e-bike sector was expected to grow by double digits every year for the foreseeable future’
February 2021 | 7
POINTS OF VIEW
My only concern is that consumers may have a problem trying to change their tyres, particularly the back one as the weight of the rider and the motor could make it vulnerable. If that starts to manifest itself, I’d be foolish not to advise dealers to start stocking our Tannus Armour inserts which give added protection, or any other similar brands because we need the public to be safe. The crazy thing is that in my eyes, we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg here in the UK. In recent years, electric cars have stolen the headlines and received a great deal of press coverage, but globally, electric bicycles outsell electric cars by some margin. And if the Government subsidy comes into place this year to make e-bikes more affordable as expected, then we are forecasting a 30-40% increase in demand overnight. Such is the fanfare in the industry around the scheme that some suppliers are even worried that demand could outstrip supply in what could be the most transformative change to urban transport in modern history.
8 | February 2021
Only time will tell, but in my 20 years of experience in the bicycle industry, I can honestly say I’ve never come across such an appetite! n
According to marketing analyst Mintel, around 100,000 e-bikes were sold in the UK in 2019, up from an estimated 73,000 in 2018 – an increase of over 40% year-on-year. A separate Mintel study, released shortly after Britain first went into lockdown in April last year, suggested some 14% of cyclists intend to buy an e-bike in the next 12 months, a rise from 11% in 2017. Overall, 45% of current cyclists say they would be interested in test-riding an e-bike, while 32% of ‘potential cyclists’ are also interested in trying one out.
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2021: Cycling will continue to be a la mode (of transport) By Adrian Warren, senior product director at Cyclescheme and chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance
hat a year 2020 was for cycling. One of the positive effects of the pandemic was the amount of free time that lockdown afforded people to pick up old hobbies. In fact, 83% of us said that we had more time to get on our bikes and rediscover the simple pleasure of cycling! But has the increase in cycling been a fad, or will it still be as popular this time next year? The cycling boom will continue The fact that 72% of us positively changed our lifestyle and became more active last year is phenomenal. Where people have struggled through isolation or the general restrictions placed upon us, cycling and exercise have had hugely beneficial impacts on the nation’s physical and mental health. After lockdowns begin to ease, and as offices reopen later in the year, people will be considering how to avoid the risk of getting caught up in overcrowding on trains or buses – while also keeping fit. I think these benefits will continue to spur the growing trend of cycling, both for leisure and travelling to work. For those of us who are parents, it could even transform the school run as we know it and help the whole family live a more active lifestyle. More generally, we will also see bikes become more affordable. No matter whether it’s a road bike or an e-bike you’re after, there is a growing number of bike hire and bike subscription schemes becoming available that can be personalised to your needs. This year it would be brilliant to see these being normalised, used nationwide, and to an extent, even become as popular as our current car leasing market. In addition to this, Cyclescheme recently
announced a partnership with TfL to offer Santander Cycle hire membership for as little as £1 per week. This will contribute to one of many reasons that cycling will be more affordable, and remain a favoured mode of transport. At the end of the day, cycling is an activity that can be enjoyed across all ages and has huge health and financial benefits, so this year will be all about people finding ways to make the most of it when they can. Better infrastructure must be built With cycling becoming more popular both with seasoned cyclists and those who haven’t done it for a while, a safe, comprehensive network of cycleways is essential. Particularly if the school run is to become the school cycle, parents must feel confident taking young children out on the routes. Last year placed demand on the Government to accelerate much needed work on cycling infrastructure, and it’s essential this continues this year. In November, the Government pledged to spend a further £95 million in London over the next six months to continue its work on the ‘golden age’ of cycling. This is good news for the capital, however this needs to be translated across the country and supported by local authorities and councils too. It’s in the Government’s best interest to see these changes through, as creating safe, protected and extensive networks will have huge rewards. It will not only encourage people who are doing their bit to keep cities and economies moving post-COVID by using their bikes, but also free up road space and help the environment.
February 2021 | 11
POINTS OF VIEW
The impact more active travel will have on mental wellness and fitness will also see less strain on the NHS in the long term – the benefits are tenfold. Use of e-bikes will surge While the thought of cycling to work is the perfect commute for some, for others it can conjure up mental images of arriving at the office with burning thighs and a sweaty brow. But the rise of e-bikes means these days are no more! The benefits are well known: they make cycling more convenient, enjoyable and less taxing on the legs. In addition, riders don’t actually need insurance or a driving licence, nor do they require tax – as long as the motor doesn’t produce more than 250 watts of power, or offer assistance over 15.5mph. Last year, we saw a rise in businesses and councils starting to use e-cargo bikes for local deliveries. Even our doctors are using e-bikes for deliveries! A new trial is aiming to help GPs use e-bikes to deliver COVID care and flu jabs to patients in their homes, to help reduce the number of patients in hospitals and A&E over the colder months. I think there’s potential for e-cargo bikes to become the favoured method of delivery, over the traditional white van, in 2021.
12 | February 2021
I believe that more people than ever will ditch the car or public transport in favour of using e-bikes, either through rental schemes, bike subscription services or investing in their own. Using an e-bike as a main method of transport comes with a host of benefits that both your body and wallet will thank you for. Other than being great fun, it boosts health and helps save money on fuel, road tax and train or bus fares in the long run. At Cyclescheme, we’re already encouraging our participants to consider an e-bike, and the Freedom to Ride initiative has made them more affordable. I think it’s safe to say this is a trend which can only go upward from here. Cyclists and drivers will finally get on This one I certainly hope will be true. An unfortunate trend from last year is the constant media stories antagonising tensions between those people who drive and people who ride. Whether you’re on a bike or in a car, we all have a responsibility to protect each other. The duty must be shared, and the more people who remember to be considerate road users, the faster tensions will unwind. Overall, 2020 rekindled the UK’s love for bikes, and had huge benefits for our economy. We saw a lot of positive change last year, and I absolutely believe it will continue as we build up a healthier, more active nation in 2021. n
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POINTS OF VIEW
Consumer demand for privately owned e-scooters will outstrip rental in 2021 By Jez Williman, CEO of D-Fly Group and founder of the Dragonfly Hyperscooter
he sudden need for socially distanced ways to travel saw e-scooter rental schemes accelerate throughout 2020. While the rental models have been understandably basic, the trials have been invaluable in forging the way for more widespread acceptance of e-scooters in general. Thanks to the lessons that the trials have taught us, we’re now much closer to those clear, cohesive rules that will allow private scooters on public roads. With that, it’s looking very, very likely that we’ll see a surge in consumer demand for more premium models in the months ahead. Not only have rental scooters been rudimentary but, to borrow a fitting analogy from the distinguished IBM engineer Andy Stanford-Clark, e-scooters are like toothbrushes: everyone knows they need one, and nobody wants to use anyone else’s. Given the choice, why wouldn’t you choose to level up? Whether you’re a discerning consumer or a large corporate keen to cut emissions with privately held fleets, it’s clear that your own personal e-scooter can be a vastly more attractive, enjoyable and ever-ready way to move than its rental counterparts, and with good reason. A Boris Bike can’t compete with a Pinarello, and why should it? The same applies to e-scooters – you’re not going to put the very best of design, technology and engineering on something that’s going to be left on the street. 2021 will be the year the penny drops on cost too. If you’re planning to use them regularly, rental scooters really aren’t a cheap way to move. With most schemes charging an upfront fee to unlock a vehicle, followed by a cost per minute to ride, it soon adds up, particularly when rental becomes part of a
daily commute. Having your own e-scooter quickly checks out cheaper – oftentimes cheaper than an Oyster – and with even premium vendors offering finance options, private models are more accessible now than ever. And here’s how private owners can get ahead in the last sprint toward legalisation: practice. When it comes to protecting yourself and those around you, practice is vital. But who’s going to hire a rental scooter to practise? You’re more likely to hire one when you’re in a rush to get from A to B and it’s more appealing than walking. So I’d urge e-scooter owners to get ahead on safety by practising the basics before riding out in public. For instance, it’s well worth practising what happens on a slope. Your speed will reduce and you need to be prepared for that, ready for when you have other road users around you. Be aware too that if you are using a rental e-scooter then you’re likely going to struggle with a major design problem: the steering tiller is too narrow. You can’t ride safely with one hand and there are going to be moments when you’ll need to. This fleeting freedom of movement enables you to glance behind you and even make eye contact with another road user before a manoeuvre. A wide range of vision and connection with others increases your safety. But it’s only possible if the vehicle you’re riding has been designed to allow this, otherwise your steering will be very uneasy and most likely offline. I witnessed this recently in London. A rental scooter rider looked over his right shoulder to continue around one of London’s large park centre circles. In doing so, the rider took one hand off the narrow bar, which reacted as you might expect and started to steer to the right.
February 2021 | 15
POINTS OF VIEW
The rider almost turned into the bike that was already on his shoulder preparing to turn left. The rider panicked and made a quick correction. In making a correction, he locked up the front wheel altogether and both him and his scooter were sent sprawling across the road. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt and no property was seriously damaged. But not everyone’s so lucky and this particular issue is a regular one with rental scooters, causing prangs a plenty. So in the not too distant future, I can see the UK Government making it a legal obligation for all e-scooter riders to have insurance covering both themselves and third parties. The courts are already making a fine example of those who are way too experimental with what their new transport can do for them, and those simply lacking in moral fibre (drink riders, speed freaks, thieves). It’s quite the game changer when a pedestrian gets injured, another vehicle gets damaged or you need to cover the costs of your own or another road user’s salary while they recover from an accident. As private ownership and corporate fleets are becoming an inevitability, it’s very, very likely that we’ll see a lot of new regulations appear in tandem. Riders will need compulsory training, not the optional sessions we’re seeing now. We’ll also likely see new standards introduced for how visible and audible e-scooters are to other road users, along with MOTstyle tests to check they continue to meet road safety and environmental standards over time.
16 | February 2021
That will be a tense experience for anyone with a low spec model, I’m sure. Safety’s been paramount in designing the Dragonfly Hyperscooter. Not just the highest-spec, most technology-advanced e-scooter in the world, it’s also loaded with safety features that just aren’t available with any other model. We’ve added automotive-grade headlights and turn signals, high visibility top lights with pavement projection lasers and on-board acoustics for pedestrian awareness and audible navigation. Three- and four-wheel options with an ultra low centre of gravity offer a super stable, easy ride. It has front brakes, rear brakes and suspension on every puncture-proof tyre, and anti-rollback. One-handed left or right operation is enabled by a specially designed steering tiller. Nothing’s been left to chance here when it comes to the safety of the rider and other road users, and we’ll soon see that echoed in legislation. So I’d urge anyone planning to buy an e-scooter right now to make a preemptive strike. As well as good-looking and mind-blowingly fantastic to drive, choose the very best and most robust model for safety, agility and longevity. All of these qualities combined are going to serve you very, very well in 2021 – the year consumer demand for private ownership will outstrip rental by a country mile. n Interested in the wider urban mobility trade? Visit micromobilitybiz.com, the only dedicated trade new services for this burgeoning sector.
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APPOINTMENTS This month’s movers and shakers throughout the cycle industry... Poppy Magee, Conrad Turner, Charlie Bird and Bruno Gordon, Shift Active Media Shift Active Media has welcomed four new hires to its media buying, account management and social media teams. The new additions – Poppy Magee, senior media manager, Conrad Turner, account manager, Charlie Bird, account executive, and Bruno Gordon, social media executive – to the 40-strong team in Bath will support the agency’s growing client portfolio. Shift, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, won the accounts for Brompton Bicycle, the new UCI Track Champions League, VAAST and Ohlins last year. The agency has also expanded its services with longstanding clients from its global portfolio including Zwift, Rapha and Continental. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, so we’re really glad we’ve been able to welcome these new hires to Shift,” said Wayne Brown, managing director. “Poppy, Conrad, Charlie and Bruno’s diverse professional experiences, combined with their excitement for cycling, have already proven invaluable in fostering innovative thinking within our agency.” n
Fu Wong, Reid Reid has appointed Fu Wong as COO. He possesses over 25 years of international experience in the bike industry, having previously been both the managing director and general manager of Cycleurope. “I have known and respected Fu for many years after crossing paths several times at international trade shows and factories,” said Rob Akam, Reid’s managing director. “It’s with great pleasure that I now welcome Fu to Reid. “The experience that this hire adds to our team cannot be underestimated, with 20 plus years of service to Cycleurope, which owns and operates many well-known brands including Bianchi, DBS, TEC, Gitane, Monark, Puch, and Peugeot Cycles. Fu will be overseeing and directing all supply chain operations and product development. “Reid is planning for continued further growth and expansion in current markets with new categories and lines, as well as entering new markets, so the appointment of Fu comes at the perfect time for the business.” n 18 | February 2021
Keith Leddington, Busby.io Keith Leddington has joined Busby.io as business development director, focusing on driving growth for the safety app. Leddington has a wealth of business development experience, most recently running the partnerships function for the Esports team at Zwift. “Being passionate about innovation and technology being used for the betterment of society; Busby.io is a natural fit for me,” said Leddington. “There are a seemingly unlimited number of partnership possibilities for us across multiple sports and countless industries, which makes this an extremely exciting time to join the team. “With the right partners in place, I’m certain that we can drastically increase safety for vulnerable road users across the globe.” n www.bikebiz.com
Maurizio Bellin, Federico Sbrissa, Andrea Greguoldo, Stefano Sacchet, Walter de Luca and Antonio Dus, Pinarello Fausto Pinarello, together with majority shareholder L Catterton, has announced key investments in top management. In recent months, the team has added several key roles, including Maurizio Bellin, chief of operations, Federico Sbrissa, chief marketing officer, and Andrea Greguoldo, supply chain director. The management team is completed by Stefano Sacchet, chief financial officer, and Walter de Luca, sales director. Antonio Dus also joins the company as a personal investor and global chief executive officer. He will be tasked with preparing the new mid-term business plan and will be reporting to the board of directors. “I am honoured to be joining this iconic brand and I do so humbled and aware of its prestige in cycling,” said Dus. “I envision a society in which the bicycle will play an ever-increasing role in the social fabric of outdoor sports and sustainable mobility. “Pinarello has always radically innovated in the demanding world of top-level racing, and we believe that we can also make a huge contribution to this vision.” n
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BikeBiz Awards 2020: The P&A winners Madison and Muc-Off, winners in the P&A categories of last year’s BikeBiz Awards, tell us what it means to win, how they adapted to 2020’s challenges and what’s in store for the year ahead
‘It is important during a period like we are in now to be visible, supportive, approachable and compassionate’ Dominic Langan, CEO of Madison, winner of P&A Distributor of the Year
2020 presented challenges for the cycling industry – how did Madison adapt, and how were dealers supported in this time? 2020 was an incredibly challenging year and some of those challenges still continue. We had to adapt the business to working from home when we had no previous culture of doing this. In February, I could see the writing on the wall and we prepared the business for remote working – we brought in more laptops, trialled teams working from home to ensure everything worked well and by 23rd March we were ready. Our primary concern was and continues to be ensuring the warehouse operations are protected and all the staff kept safe. We implemented numerous protocols to ensure the maximum safety for personnel possible along with team bubbles. The warehouse team have been our heroes during what has not only been a challenging time but also bonkers busy. There were some times when we fell a little behind but on the whole, we have maintained a high level of service throughout and we are all really proud of that.
Madison clothing has enjoyed ‘huge’ sales growth
February 2021 | 21
When the first lockdown happened, we did not know what impact it would have on the business or the industry, but we communicated with all customers assuring them that we would stay open as long as they were open and if they needed support with terms or whatever it may be, we would support them 100%. We also managed to source PPE through our suppliers in the Far East and we continue to offer this small range of masks, visors, digital thermometers, protective and nitrile gloves for store staff and customers to use. For those retailers offering free bike services to key workers and NHS staff, we supported them with a free care package of a Hump hi-viz waterproof jacket, helmet and light set. We gave several hundred of these Key Worker Care Packages away and they were very well received by the recipients and the stores. Everyone at that time wanted to play a part in supporting the frontline workers. Freewheel also played a key role during the lockdown. We promoted the message of supporting the local community bike shop and instantly had 400 retailers earning commission on sales via the site when at the time many consumers were reluctant to even leave home.
‘Everyone at that time wanted to play a part in supporting the frontline workers’ Our sales team were on hand throughout and were in regular communication with all our customers and as soon as visits were possible once more, we were meeting with all customers who wanted to and our demonstrator team was in store helping remerchandise stores and train staff. Indeed, we even managed a very successful launch of Vittoria tyres during this period! Ultimately, we tried our best to look after our staff and our customers whilst we went through something none of us had ever experienced before and it is still not over but as a company, I believe we can hold our heads up high with how we behaved in 2020. Are there any brands in your portfolio that have performed better than others in recent months, and if so, what do you attribute this to? Pleasingly, we had several brands perform well for us in 2020. We saw a 209% increase in sales of Elite trainers as more and more people started indoor training in the
22 | February 2021
early part of the pandemic but unlike other years, the demand continued through the summer, autumn and still hasn’t eased up. We have the equivalent of another great year already on forward order for Elite with deliveries arriving regularly. With so many new people cycling in 2020, we saw huge growth in the leisure and commute sectors with Ridgeback bikes growing +74% in 2020 and wiping us out of all our stock, Lazer helmets grew by 170% and total helmet sales with Lazer in 2020 were bigger than any previous year for helmets in Madison’s entire history with any other brand. Madison clothing also enjoyed huge sales growth in the year thanks to a great leisure, commute and kids ranges and was boosted further by significant sales of our cloth protective facemasks. Obviously, workshops were flat out in 2020 and this drove growth of +38% for Shimano. Demand for tools saw Park grow by 68% in the year as well as huge growth within our tyre and tubes offering. Madison won P&A Distributor of the Year at the BikeBiz Awards for the second year in a row in 2020 – what is the secret to this continued success? Not to take anything for granted. We have to continue to be relevant to our customers. We have to keep adapting our model to ensure we meet and exceed the demands of the market, our retail customers and the consumer as well as listening to them and taking the input on board. It is also important during a period like we are in now to be visible, supportive, approachable and compassionate and that is what I ask of my team. We will of course continue to seek the best brand offering we can, to be as competitive as possible and to be innovative with our initiatives such as Freewheel and digiBike*. Hopefully, we may win it again! What are your expectations for the year ahead, both for the business and the industry? Cautious optimism! COVID, Brexit and stock will be primary challenges for at least the first half of 2021, if not longer. Our industry is in good shape though and I am sure supply chain challenges will ease as time progresses, and with Brexit, I am sure we will find ways of making it work for business because we have to. Hopefully, the vaccine roll out will eventually put COVID behind us too. The economy, in the meantime, will be massively damaged but cycling is now in a great place and I think we can look forward to some very positive years ahead. n
Madison implemented numerous protocols to ensure the maximum safety for personnel possible along with team bubbles
‘We’re constantly innovating and obsessing over the finite details to take a product to the next level’ Muc-Off, winner of P&A Brand of the Year 2020 presented some challenges for the cycling industry – how did Muc-Off adapt to the changes, and how were dealers supported? 2020 has required a number of adaptations due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Muc-Off mobilised quickly, and, responding to the global shortage of hand-sanitiser, launched our anti-bac range back in April. We went on to support front line workers with luxury chamois cream to reduce mask friction and we worked with local businesses to provide anti-bac and moisturising support, as well as PPE. Despite challenging conditions, we have recruited heavily across the business, and have committed to an increased marketing budget in 2021. We have seen large numbers of people take up cycling in the last 12 months, and we want to support them in their journey to keeping their bikes in great condition.
With regards to dealer support activity – we launched our ambassador store programme, where we supplied free workshop products, a box of Muc-Off swag and in-store branding. Are there any products that have performed better than others in recent months, and if so, what do you attribute this to? The key seller for bicycle this year has been the pressure washer – the technology developed for this product simply makes it the best tool for the job. It’s proved hugely popular since launch, and it continues to be one of our hero products. Muc-Off won P&A Brand of the Year at the BikeBiz Awards again in 2020 – what is the secret to the company’s success?
February 2021 | 23
The key reason is our investment. We have made investments into people, infrastructure, R&D and into our green initiatives. We’ve invested heavily in marketing and sponsorship activities, from grass roots up to elite, we’ve invested in the industry with initiatives such as ‘Bike Is Best’ and our Trash Free Trails partnership. And finally, we’ve invested in our retail partners with extensive POS and social media support. Additionally, our products are developed by riders for riders. We have a dedicated team of passionate, talented and enthusiastic people, which means we’re constantly innovating and obsessing over the finite details to take a product to the next level. We’re investing heavily into state-of-the-art testing facilities, meaning we can rigorously test our products to make them the best they can be. We also have a strong grounding in our focus on sustainability. Our Project Green initiative is saving tonnes of plastic from going to landfill each year. It’s something we’re very passionate about and our consumers tend to share our views.
We invest heavily in athlete and team sponsorships. Being able to support the highest level of the sport across multiple disciplines sets us apart from the rest, and of course, it’s awesome to watch! What are your expectations for the year ahead, both for the business and the industry? 2021 is set to be an exciting year for Muc-Off and the industry. We’ve seen big increases in global participation in cycling which we’re looking forward to supporting them with. There is of course the potential for Brexit to impact us, particularly with our supply chain, but we feel equipped to deal with it; it’s one of the benefits of working for a dynamic business. We’ll have more activation through our expanded athlete sponsorship programme, more content than ever for our fans to enjoy and more educational campaigns to support new riders, joining the sport. And of course, there will be exciting new product launches to keep our fans excited. n
Muc-Off’s products are developed ‘by riders for riders’
24 | February 2021
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iceBike* goes online for 2021. There will be video seminars with our brand suppliers, Madison and Sportline brand managers and industry experts. Plus, daily webinars with CEO Dominic Langan where you can put your questions to him live. Plus, there will be Offer Packs and Online Show Only Offers too good to miss.
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Bike tyre sales augmented by growing e-bike popularity Demand for electric bike tyres to skyrocket, generating a revenue share of nearly 41% through 2030
12-22in sized tyres to register YoY growth worth over 7% in the next few years
By product type, tubeless tyres to record impressive sales, reaching £1.7 billion by 2021-end UK poised to expand at a YoY rate of over 8% across the forecast period
Germany and France to exhibit stable growth, accounting for annual growth surpassing 11% by 2022
PARTNER CONTENT – THE ACT
What to do next when shutting up shop As a third national lockdown continues, the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) is offering guidance to IBDs throughout the country. ACT PR and marketing executive Tabitha Walker outlines some of the help available to bike shops
n 4th January, the Prime Minister took the necessary step of enforcing yet another national lockdown by restricting individual freedoms to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. Bicycle shops have remained as essential retailers throughout all three lockdowns as they continue to remain open to serve the public’s transport needs. For bicycle shops that have chosen to remain open during these challenging times, the ACT has published a guidance document to help with continuing with business and remaining safe at the same time. This guidance is just one part of the coronavirus resources the ACT has been publishing on a regular basis. However, many bicycle shops have already chosen to take the route of closing their shop and/or working remotely where possible. This is a summary of information for bicycle shops that are considering closure/have already closed due to COVID-19.
WHAT GRANTS AM I ENTITLED TO? The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Employers are now able to make a claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (‘furlough’) due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Bicycle shops are eligible to make this claim, although you must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28th February 2020 and have a UK bank account. You will receive a grant from HMRC to cover the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included. At a minimum, employers must pay their employee the lower of 80% of their regular wage or £2,500 per month. An employer can also choose to top up an employee’s salary beyond this but is not obliged to under this scheme. Find out more about how to begin your claim on the Government website. The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme As well as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme is also available to bicycle shops. This provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000. If you are eligible for this grant, your local authority will write to you. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.
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PARTNER CONTENT – THE ACT
Small Business Grant Scheme The Government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. If you are eligible for this grant, your local authority will write to you. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority. What loans can I get? The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years. The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks. Check to see if your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria. The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website. Government coronavirus business support is ever-changing as the situation develops, keep an eye on all updates on the support for businesses and self-employed people during coronavirus page.
and adapting to cater towards these is the first step in surviving and thriving throughout this crisis, particularly as we draw closer to the Easter period. Use social media management platforms Managing multiple different platforms and keeping track of responses, engagement and insights can be a hefty job for even the most accomplished of social media experts. However, there are companies out there that are here to make this as easy as possible and allow you to take full advantage of your data. Now more than ever it is crucial to ensure your online offering is up-to-scratch and an active social media presence can be an excellent way of capturing new and potential customers. Maybe* is a platform that specialises in helping teams to create exceptional social media experiences that generate business results. Let customers know you are still trading The Bicycle Association and Association of Cycle Traders have worked together to make a tool where key workers and others can quickly find open bike shops. To do this, we need to know ASAP if your bike shop remains open, and on what basis. To add your details, please go to: openbikeshops.uk/trade. Your opening information will then be available nationally via openbikeshops.uk so that customers can direct any enquiries straight to you. n
How can I keep my business going without being physically open? While your shop is shut you may be finding yourself with a little extra time on your hands. Take this opportunity to tailor your business to the millions of customers that are already shopping online, and the millions more that will be joining them during this isolation period. Appeal to this audience by building a robust online brand using social media platforms and your own website. The way in which consumers are shopping will be forced to alter during these times; it is critical to evaluate your business and identify ways in which you can evolve alongside current shopping trends. Identifying your customers’ wants and needs
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What does Brexit mean for the bike industry? After months of negotiations, the UK and EU finally agreed a Brexit deal which came into effect at 11pm on 31st December 2020. But what are the implications for the cycling trade? Rebecca Morley catches up the Bicycle Association’s Peter Eland to find out what the industry now faces and how optimistic we can be looking forward
t seems strange to think that during 2020, the year in which the UK officially left the European Union, this very topic hardly dominated headlines. The COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact have, quite rightly, taken centre stage over the past 12 months, but, following a Brexit deal finally being agreed at the end of December, businesses across the UK have had to turn their attention to new trade rules and regulations. And we were barely back from the festive period before clarification was needed on whether UK consumers would be able to purchase certain cycling-related goods.
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One example was Brooks England, which has temporarily suspended e-commerce sales to the UK – but this has not affected availability through its distributor Extra UK. Industry impacts But what does Brexit mean for the wider cycling industry – who is being affected the most? “It’s still very early days to evaluate the impact on the cycle industry,” says Peter Eland, the Bicycle Association’s (BA) technical director. “As an industry, we’re in a relatively good place to weather the changes which come from leaving the EU –
there’s still strong demand on the back of COVID lockdowns, a million new UK cyclists to provide for, fast-developing e-bike technology driving our market, and positive moves by Government in support of cycling.” But that’s not to say there aren’t serious challenges coming out of Brexit for some companies in the sector, Eland continues, as fully understanding the new processes which now apply for cross-channel trade, and working out how to best make that work for individual businesses, is a tough challenge alongside coping with ongoing COVID restrictions. Much of the cycle industry also relies on wider shipping and logistics operations which are under pressure globally. “It could be many months before a new normal is reached. Longer-term, Brexit does mean that the UK can diverge from the EU in a variety of areas.
What about the impact on supply? Much of the bike industry has already been struggling with stock issues during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – so what will Brexit mean? Being so soon after the end of the transition period, Eland says it’s too early for Brexit-related issues on the supply chain to show other than very short-term effects, though it is clear that the effect of Brexit is to increase border friction between the UK and EU, which will inevitably add to costs. “For goods not qualifying for zero tariffs under the UK-EU deal, the tariffs payable will be a cost that wasn’t there before. This suggests pricing pressures will be upwards for elements of trade with Europe. “On the other hand, for trade with non-EU countries, post-transition the UK tariff regime very much mirrors “It could be many months before a new normal is reached,” says Eland
“For example, the BA has already raised the possibility of VAT changes with the Government, and is working on developing the business case. The UK could swiftly zero-rate children’s bikes, or e-bikes, or indeed all bikes if there’s a sufficiently strong case.” As the UK cycle industry’s national trade association, Eland says the BA is in a unique position, and part of its remit for its members and for the wider industry is to seek opportunities from the changes brought by Brexit. “Some of this is defensive – to mitigate any adverse effects, but it is also proactive and positive – to find the opportunities, and position the industry to make the most of them. Linked closely with this is the need to ensure that future UK regulatory decisions are of maximum benefit to cycling and the industry.”
that which applied when the UK was still part of the EU, including very similar tariff reductions for purchases from developing countries. So there’s far less change expected for bikes sourced from outside the EU.” The actual effects on the market will only become clear when the data is in, says Eland – subscribers to the BA’s Market Data Service, which reports monthly, will be the first to be in a position to identify and quantify trends. The service now tracks sales of over 700,000 SKUs collected from tills across the country, representing over two thirds of the total UK market. For example, in the 12 months to the end of November 2020, the BA captured the sale of over 2.1 million bicycles. The association will be tracking the impact of Brexit monthly, amongst many other factors and trends.
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As well as triggering the cycling boom, COVID has sparked some fundamental changes to consumer behaviour
“The longer-run effect on prices will only become apparent once the effects of Brexit on supply chain structures, shipping and retail have bedded in to a ‘new normal’ – perhaps only when COVID is also behind us.” What about bike retailers themselves? Eland says he sees two main scenarios where retailers’ operations may be directly affected. Retailers who supply EU consumers directly will need to check VAT arrangements – it may be simplest to zero-rate the goods for export, so the customer pays import VAT before delivery. Courier companies, or Royal Mail, will detail the paperwork implications. For retailers who buy dealer-direct from EU manufacturers or brands, Eland has heard that some EU suppliers are not yet up to speed with the rules of origin in the UK-EU deal, and would suggest that retailers direct their suppliers to his write-up on post-Brexit UK regulations: product safety, the UKCA mark and UK-EU rules of origin (which can be on the BA’s website). “Also, any retailer bringing in bikes from the EU will now take on the role of ‘importer’, rather than just a ‘distributor’ within the EU single market, which is what they were previously, and may need to look into the implications of that, including checking insurance arrangements.” In terms of challenges the industry now faces, Eland believes we can be optimistic. “Clearly there are immediate challenges which we are helping our members identify and tackle, but supply chains will adapt, and although there will be permanent extra friction and some additional costs when trading with Europe, I don’t think that will dampen the significant growth
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of the UK cycling market and especially of course ‘hot’ sectors such as e-bikes.” There are encouraging signs too from the Government, such as the £2 billion committed for cycling in last year’s Gear Change policy document. “This level of investment indicates that real change is coming to make cycling feel safer, and thus have even wider public appeal,” continues Eland. “The BA works closely with ministers and officials in relevant Government Departments, especially the Department for Transport, as advocates for cycling and the industry, and as trusted advisors on matters on which we have unique knowledge and insight. “We have worked hard to develop our arguments and capabilities – which helped secure many of the commitments in Gear Change, including on e-bike subsidies. It may be that factors other than Brexit will be more important in defining the cycling market in the coming years. “As well as triggering the cycling boom, COVID has sparked some fundamental changes to consumer behaviour: the BA will be watching closely, through our unique data gathering capability and diverse membership, to see how cycling can flourish as, for example, more people work from home, more people take UK holidays, or even how so many people who have taken up indoor training might be tempted to try ‘real’ cycling!” Eland says that this year is likely to be another rollercoaster for the industry – although it’ll be hard to top 2020. “All of the team here at the BA are looking forward to working with the industry to make the most of whatever opportunities arise, and to cement and build on the growth in cycling we’ve already seen under COVID.” n
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PARTNER CONTENT: THE ACT
Communicating COVID-secure measures in store
n the Home Secretary’s statement on 12th January, it was explained that a minority of people are putting the health of the nation at risk by not following the rules. In response, the Government is talking to local councils about the role that they should be playing in enforcing the COVID-19 regulations. The Home Secretary’s message was simple: “If you do not play your part, the police will enforce the regulations and I will back them to do so, to protect the NHS and to save lives.” Following on from this, the ACT has reviewed the materials that it provides for members to use in-store and put together some refocused assets for bike shops to display. The new assets are as follows: – A poster detailing the need for customers to wear a face covering, maintain a safe distance and sanitise hands – A cleaning checklist that describes the measures that colleagues should take when cleaning both during normal
operation and when the store is aware of someone that has symptoms or returned a positive test – A poster that outlines the three key messages, why they are important and additional measures that could be taken in-store to help stop the spread of the virus It is also worth reiterating that colleagues in stores are not expected to challenge or refuse entry to customers who are not wearing a face covering. The regulations have not changed in that regard – retailers and colleagues have a duty to communicate the rules, but are not obliged to police them. Where businesses have taken the decision to refuse entry to those not following the rules, that is their decision as a business and based on the resources that they have available. All of these assets are now available for download via the ACT website.
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FEATURE Handlebars Hyde Park, located in Connaught Village
Reinventing repair Bike repair workshop Handlebars recently opened its latest branch in Hyde Park. CEO Jeyda Heselton talks to Rebecca Morley about transforming disused spaces and putting the service back into servicing
he COVID bike boom we’ve seen over the past year has been well documented, with many businesses across the industry reporting a rise in demand. During this time, the role bike shops have played in keeping the nation cycling has been vital; and this has been recognised by the Government too – not just with the decision to keep bike shops open throughout each lockdown, but also with its active travel initiatives and the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme. And with the rise in new and returning cyclists comes a rise in bikes needing servicing and repairs, meaning the value of good customer service has never been more important. Handlebars is a startup in the cycling industry, aiming to revolutionise the way cyclists get their bikes repaired.
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It now has four branches across the capital since opening its first workshop at the beginning of last year – but this meant its first spring and summer in operation was during a global pandemic. “Things went crazy for us,” says CEO Jeyda Heselton. “We had far more bikes than we could work on at the time, and we opened new workshops and we brought new staff on. It was all very exciting. “It was probably a combination effect. The pandemic meant there was a lot of demand for cycling-related work out there, but equally, it got to high season for us and people were keen on what we were doing.” Handlebars is focused on ‘reinventing repair’, Heselton continues. “We’re trying to shake up the old practices and put the service back into servicing, and lead bike maintenance into a new era.”
The London-based startup also has an app and a website, where cyclists can book into a workshop. E-commerce has pushed other retail areas ‘massively’, says Heselton, but bike servicing hasn’t yet had all the benefits that it could get from modern day tech. “I’m quite keen to be pushing that, and that’s why we try to approach everything with that mindset of reinventing repair for cyclists. We try to make things simple and convenient for them. That’s why we’ve got an app and a website where you can book everything – and once your bike is with us, you get a quote on the app and online. “We try and make everything transparent and easy for the customer, so it’s all nice, clear and hassle free. That’s how we try to reinvent it. We launched a collection and return service, which meant that our network could expand its reach beyond the direct locality of the workshop.”
“Once we’d started heading down that path, and we talked to different landlords who had parking spaces, what became clear to us is that it’s not just parking spaces that are empty land in the UK – there’s just so much land that is not being used usefully. There’s empty space all over the place that would be extremely useful to people if it was transformed into something better.” Building a network The Hyde Park workshop, located in Connaught Village, is Handlebars’ most recent opening and its fourth branch alongside Monument and Bank, Islington and Shoreditch. The startup is continuing its vision of conveniently located repair workshops dotted around the capital, leading the way for modernisation within the industry.
The London-based startup now has four branches: Monument and Bank, Islington, Shoreditch and Hyde Park
Disused spaces For the workshops themselves, Handlebars takes ‘interesting’ spaces and transforms them, Heselton says. The Hyde Park unit that opened last month had previously sat empty for two years. “We originally started thinking about parking spaces and the amount of excess land there is in the UK dedicated to parking. As cars become less and less relevant, the amount of land that we dedicate to parking is more redundant. “Our original idea was to build workshops that fit entirely into a single parking space, which was one of our first workshops. We got a workshop designed and built that fits into a single parking space and then we’ve got another place where we can store bikes.
“Our idea is to build out a network that covers the entire city,” explains Heselton. “We wanted to start out in the centre as that was the closest to where people worked. “To build a network, we believe you need spaces that give good coverage of the city, but also hit different types of areas. For example, we’ve got one that’s close to Monument which is great for reaching people who are working in the city. We’ve got one up in Islington which is nice for reaching the residential area around there. Hyde Park is great for all of the cycling traffic that comes in from the west of London, which I think is poorly served at the moment.” To choose locations, Handlebars looks at data that is available on the number of cycling trips that are made in an area and then combines it with either the residential
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population or the office workers to work out where would be best for cyclists – somewhere preferably next to a cycle route, too. “Our collection service is quite unique and the fact that we’ve got a network, rather than just being a single store, is a benefit to cyclists because they know that whichever store they go to, they’ll get a good service,” adds Heselton. “The level of service that we bring and the feedback that we’ve had is also unique. I try and make sure that our workshops and all of the mechanics deliver an outstanding customer experience and go above and beyond for people. I want them to know how to have a welcoming experience so that it’s not off putting for new cyclists who don’t know all the lingo and the terminology. “We also hire really great mechanics – we’ve got one who was the head mechanic for Canyon Race Team, DHB Canyon. We’ve got really good experience on the team and we invest in training as well.” Adapting operations While COVID-19 has caused a boom in demand across much of the industry, businesses have also had to adapt their operations. For Handlebars, the pandemic expedited how quickly it did the collection and return service. “It was always part of our plan anyway but it made us get on with that a bit quicker,” explains Heselton. “This year, because of the current lockdown and how contagious this new variant is – and I imagine this is the same for all businesses – each of our workshops only has two or three mechanics working there. If anybody gets sick or ill, it puts a bit of a strain on us operationally. Whilst there’s a lot of demand for people getting their bikes worked on, it’s still operationally challenging to run a business where you rely on a small number of people.” The startup still has a lot of plans for the year ahead though, including expansion outside the capital, Heselton says. “We’re pretty hungry for making a difference. One of the key things is expansion – we’ll be looking at expanding our network beyond London later this year. “We’re doing quite a lot of work to improve our customer journeys, and the tech that is available for both customers and mechanics. That should make some good progress this year. “And finally, we’re investing a lot in training. I think it’s important to make sure everybody has well honed skills, especially with some of the updates that are coming out to bikes and some of the newer models. E-bikes require specific training so it’s about making sure that everybody’s up to speed on that.” n
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Mechanic Charlotte at work
All services can be booked through the website and app
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minutes with... This month, BikeBiz catches up with Martin Wabnegger, area sales manager for Motorex
Can you give us a little background on Motorex? Founded in 1917, Motorex is an independent, familyowned Swiss company. It is active in the area of developing, manufacturing and marketing lubricants and chemicals for a wide range of applications. Based in Langenthal, Switzerland, Motorex, with its 370 employees, operates three manufacturing sites in Europe and distributes products in 89 countries. Motorex is well known for its high development rate of innovative lubricants and related chemicals, where best technical performance, environmentally-friendly chemistry and workplace safety are key business drivers. What is the Motorex mission statement? We aim to be a reliable partner to all our customers, who are at the centre of our attention. Motorex has provided its customers with the highest-quality products and services for more than 100 years. This top quality and experience makes Motorex a reliable partner to SMEs
and the industry, as well as to cyclists and motorcyclists – both professional and amateur. What area of the market does Motorex target? We have a comprehensive range of care and maintenance products that are suitable for all types of bicycle disciplines including cleaners, degreasers and lubricants. When it comes to racing activities, we heavily focus on the MTB Downhill World Cup and elite-level enduro racing because of our great expertise in suspension fluids. These, together with our range of dedicated greases, are favourites of many top race team mechanics and are equally in high demand in bicycle workshops around the globe. What makes Motorex unique? All our products are developed in close cooperation with top race teams. These guys do not just want the best product, but also the most convenient packaging and
40 | February 2021 www.bikebiz.com
application, so our product development doesn’t stop with the fluids. And the products which are approved by the teams are exactly what the cyclists can buy, all Motorex Bikeline products are truly race-proven. I already mentioned the suspension fluids before, they are a perfect example. Our chemists developed a new chemical composition from scratch according to the demands of some of the best DH riders in the world. They were then extensively tested by these riders as well as on suspension dynos. This process took a while but now we have an amazing range of suspension fluids which have already been chosen by several OEMs for first fill of their forks and shocks. Tell us about your manufacturing process. All Bikeline products are produced in our factory in Langenthal, giving us 100% control of product quality, which is most important to us. We have a big team of chemists in our in-house lab whose main day-to-day task is constant monitoring of product quality throughout the complete production process. This starts with the analysis of all ingredients and ends only once the product is filled and ready to be shipped to our customers. What does Motorex offer that its competitors perhaps do not? We offer all products that a bicycle shop needs, be it in the workshop or for retail business. In addition to the dedicated bicycle products like lubes and cleaners, we have lots of service products like brake fluids and technical sprays for cutting, welding and so on available which are all of the highest-quality, self-developed and produced in-house. What has the reaction to the product been like so far? We’re really well established in bicycle workshops around the world which especially swear on our greases.
When it comes to mountain biking, our Bike Clean and Wet Protect Lube are selling really well, which we think will be perfect for the UK market given the wet, muddy conditions most riders face year-round. What’s also been really well accepted and has seen a lot of growth in sales last year is our waterless Quick Clean. It’s ideal for urban riders as it’s a quick and easy cleaning solution for the bike which can even be used indoors. And of course people love our easy-application 360-degree sprayheads which make sure you can apply our cleaners from every angle and to every part of the bike; we think that’s a great example of the development we put into our product delivery systems as well as what’s inside. What innovations in the industry are exciting you? Clearly e-bikes. Especially in mountain biking they have brought so many additional riders (back) into the sport which gives us great scope for growth in the years to come. And they also offer a new level of experience to existing riders who switch to e-bikes, as they can further extend their rides and enjoy them even more. E-bikes also put additional demands on oils and lubricants which will undoubtedly drive product development, which opens up some exciting opportunities. What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? Our product development is a constant process, so we will be upgrading existing products as well as adding new ones throughout the year. In the UK, we are very much looking forward to reestablishing our brand in the market together with our new distribution partner Extra UK. It is a great group of highly professional and passionate people and the perfect partner for us in servicing the bicycle trade in the UK and Ireland. n
February 2021 | 41
Simple, quick and efficient: Proviz on how its B2B is supporting IBDs Proviz Sports launched a new B2B website for IBDs towards the end of last year. Rebecca Morley catches up with co-founder Anthony Langly-Smith to find out more
Proviz founders Bob (left) and Anthony Langly-Smith (right)
hen the first lockdown was announced in March last year, not many could have predicted the impact COVID-19 would still be having on our lives today. Restrictions were brought back in not long after they had been eased, and, while many are optimistic looking forward as the vaccine roll out continues, we’ll still have to wait some time before our lives go back to normal. But during each lockdown, bike shops have been permitted to remain open. IBDs have been there to offer cyclists what they need to keep riding in the pandemic, with many businesses across the industry experiencing such huge rises in demand that there have been many shortages in stock as a result. Proviz Sports has seen a similar increase in demand to other brands, says co-founder Anthony Langly-Smith. “There’s been a cycling boom, there’s been a lot of demand for bikes.
42 | February 2021
Bikes are running out of stock left, right and centre. “We’ve seen a similar thing where there’s been a huge amount of demand, a big uptick in people wanting cycling kit. There’s been the demand but getting hold of supply at the start of last year when a lot of factories were having to shut was a challenge. On the whole, it’s been okay, some people have got six-12 month lead times and massive delays on stock. “We’ve been actually okay in that way; but there has also been a huge demand over the summer and throughout our peak season, which is the autumn.” Stores and showrooms The brand is also supporting independent bike dealers with its new B2B website, launched towards the end of last year. It means Proviz is now available across
the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands from stores and showrooms, allowing people to try on its range of products in person. “In 2019, we trialled just working with IBDs but there wasn’t a B2B,” explains Langly-Smith. “But we were getting a lot of demand for a B2B, from reps, retailers but also internally; when someone sent an order in, it was a lot more manual work.
‘We want to continue to offer the IBDs a really good service, more choice, and expand and enhance what we currently do, taking their feedback and constantly improving’ “The B2B had a couple of delays from the developers but we wanted to bring it out sooner because we were realising that a lot of the IBDs were needing stock really quickly. They would order, and then they would order again. “For them to have accessibility to a quick and efficient B2B was really important and we understand that because we put ourselves in their shoes. They just want to be able to log in, add X to basket and checkout.” The brand also received good feedback on what retailers are looking for when it comes to a B2B website, so it could ensure it covered everything when it was set up. Langly-Smith says the process prior to having the B2B was quite manual, with people having to fill out forms and scan them in. “It was a bit of a block for retailers. No one wants to be filling in forms at the best of times, let alone when you’re running a busy shop. “We made sure that the form they fill in online is really simple and quick, and that they would then be sent their logins within the day so they can crack on and order. “It makes their lives easier and it makes our lives easier, so it’s just a winner.”
Langly-Smith. The brand has also seen a synergy with Proviz and e-bikes, with many retailers seeing a large uptick in sales and customers asking what they should wear with their new purchase. “We were getting a lot of people coming to us saying: ‘We haven’t actually sold Proviz, but people are coming in wanting Proviz, especially in the autumn.’ It’s very easy to send them a link to sign up. Ten minutes later they’ve got a login, and within 20 minutes they can put an order in. “We love the bike shop, I think it’s such an important part of towns and villages. It’s been really important that they have stayed open. Cycling has kept everyone sane, to be able to get that fresh air and feel like they’re doing something. I think that the Government has obviously identified how important it is that people can get out on bikes. “It’s so good for everyone’s physical and mental health, so it’s been really important for us to be able to support stores and be able to provide them with quick stock.” 2021 predictions Looking forward, Langly-Smith believes this boom will carry on. “I know people talk about it being a flash in the pan kind of thing, but I think it will continue. For us as a business, we have a really active community on social media and we’ve got about 85,000 social media followers now. “They’re amazingly proactive in a very positive way, suggesting products or colours. It’s been really interesting listening to them about some of the products that they like, and we’re going to be looking at really expanding our collection. “We’re really excited about 2021,” Langly-Smith continues. “We want to continue to offer the IBDs a really good service, more choice, and expand and enhance what we currently do, taking their feedback and constantly improving.” n
Essential retail Bike shops have been allowed to remain open in all three lockdowns imposed due to COVID-19, each time being classed as essential retail by the Government. This has allowed people across the country to embrace cycling – whether it’s being used as a daily form of exercise, to avoid the close contact of public transport for necessary journeys or simply as a new hobby when many other activities had to shut down. “We get a lot of people wanting to try our stuff on; they actually want to see it, they want to touch it,” says
February 2021 | 43
RIDE, FOLD, GRAB & GO.
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Peak Trail 2
Paul-E EQ Expert
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Moore Large
49 years after the inception of the original Bickerton Portable Bicycle, the world’s oldest folding bike brand has gone back to some of its first principles to create a future-classic, the Bickerton Argent. Inspired by Harry Bickerton’s original 1971 design, the Bickerton Argent pays homage to the rectangular frame and hinge abutments, but adds modern design, materials and technology; so strong that it more than doubles the requirement for the ISO test.
Designed to take city biking to the next level, the Strada City is built with a double crankset to keep the weight down. With a fast, agile frame and an ultra-sporty riding position, this lightweight bike is the ultimate commuting machine. And for when you’re ready to trade the tarmac for the trail, the 650b wheels help you tackle that tougher terrain, with 47c trail tyres giving you a strong grip on looser ground.
Suitable for multi-purpose adventures with the stability of a mountain bike and the larger wheel/narrower tyre benefits of a road bike, the Peak Trail series is loaded with features to help you explore the great outdoors, commute and keep fit with a comfortable, upright riding position. Peak Trail frames are all capable of taking mud guards to keep you dry and pannier racks to help with luggage on longer adventures.
The new Bergamont Paul-E EQ Expert is an incredibly versatile machine for modern day city life. The attractive folding e-bike is very compact, allowing for the bike to be transported easily, making it ideal for the daily commute. Its Shimano motor makes very light work of any miles travelled, allowing you to arrive in style and ready for the day ahead. Once you have arrived, the bike easily folds away and once packed away can be manoeuvred with ease.
February 2021 | 45
Distributor: Moore Large
A stylish modern urban bike, perfect for commuting, inner-city errands and weekend adventures in the countryside. It features a hi-ten steel frame and fork, providing comfort and control. An efficient and reliable Shimano Nexus 7-Speed internal hub gear drivetrain, double-wall alloy rims, Schwalbe tyres and dual pivot calliper brakes keep you rolling in all weather conditions. Equipped with high-end dynamo powered front and rear LED lights and a carrier rack.
No matter how small or fast a bike folds, it needs to be a bike you want to ride. The BYB delivers with a frame engineered for stiffness, 20in wheels and performance components. The folded BYB also stands on its rack and can be trolleyed like a suitcase, making it ideal for mixed-mode commuters who do a stretch of their daily journey on a train or bus, or might grab a taxi home on a rainy day.
Built around a 6061 heattreated aluminium frame and a 3x8 Shimano drivetrain, the Ridgeback Vanteo is the perfect bike for meandering through city streets on a weekend or making your commute more exciting than another ride on the bus. With full mudguard mounts, it’s ready for the bad weather, and a rear pannier rack gives you the option of making the bike carry the load rather than wearing a rucksack.
The Trip is a super low step-through folding electric bike. Colour matched mudguards and adjustable handlebars. Four battery size options. New stock available now. Powered by Promovec Danish design and electrics. Industry-leading, transferable warranty of three years on the battery and motor.
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Now available from
GERMAN DESIGNED AND ENGINEERED HIGH-QUALITY SHIFT AND BRAKE CABLE SYSTEMS
Contact your Extra UK Area Sales Manager for more info extrauk.co.uk | Tel: 01933 672170 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDITORIAL CALENDAR 2021:
Women’s bikes and accessories Industry diversity Workshop tools and cleaning Cycle computers Cycling technology Triathlon Children’s bikes and accessories The kid’s market Brakes Helmets Retail and the IBD
March April May
The global cycle indsutry
The MTB market
Sustainability Distribution The e-bike market BikeBiz Awards special
WANT TO ADVERTISE IN ANY OF THESE ISSUES? Contact Richard Setters 0779 480 5307 or email email@example.com
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Indoor training and power meters Cycle lights Mountain bikes and accessories Winter and protective clothing Cyclocross Stocking fillers Road bikes and accessories Chains, gears and cranks E-bikes and accessories Wheels, tyres and inner tubes Cycle footwear
Want your company or product to be involved with any of these features? Contact James Groves, editor 07801 291 961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Light Blue
Robinson V2 Sora Flat Bar
Distributor: Perry eHopper
Distributor: Pinpoint CE
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Moore Large
At only 14kg with folded dimensions of just 780mm by 580mm, you can get more than one in the boot of a standard-sized car. The Perry eHopper will assist your riding up to 15mph with its 250W brushless geared DC motor, you won’t have to worry about the battery either and with a 50km range it will get you to where you need to go. Fold in under ten seconds with only five moves, it’s the UK’s lightest folding e-bike.
For 2021, Eovolt has five models of electric folding bikes that are powerful, super-lightweight and ultra-compact and also excellent value for money. Eovolt electric bikes are ideal for everyone, whether for the commute to work, popping down to the shops or travelling in your motorhome, caravan or boat. If you want a practical, high-quality, affordable electric bike, then you need look no further than Eovolt.
The Light Blue’s Robinson Sora Flat Bar features a Reynolds 725 steel frame combined with Shimano’s Sora R3000 18spd groupset with thumb shifters. Halo Whiteline Urban wheels with Tioga’s 32C City Slicker tyres and finishing components from Genetic. This is a fabulous value ‘all rounder’ that can cope admirably with anything from a leisurely ride along a tow path to an epic sportive, or even a fast commute to the office.
The Generation 3 Vektrons are best-in-class e-bikes that fold in ten seconds. They have updated frames, upgraded Bosch motors and a wide ecosystem of accessories. Stiff and stable for a truly solid ride – even when fully loaded. Low-step frame design fits riders between 4ft 10in – 6ft 5in, frame-integrated rear rack fits a Thule Yepp child seat. Easy to roll when folded.
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STUCK FOR STOCK? Urban . Road . MTB . Gravel . Workshop
01772 459 887 bob-elliot.co.uk/facebook bob-elliot.co.uk/twitter bob-elliot.co.uk/instagram
TRADE BENEFITS n Access to our in-house manufactured KX Wheels n
Order until 4pm each day for next day delivery for mainland UK, including Saturdays!
n Competitive carriage-paid minimum orders and then tiered carriage charges for non-carriage-paid orders n
Choose from over 40 brands, and 5000 SKU’s across the portfolio
n Regular account-manager visits from our experienced sales team to help further develop the business n Enjoy one of the most focused and user-friendly B2B systems in the trade B2B: access your account, order history, invoices, credits, EPOS stock-feeds, backorders and favourites... as well as exclusive offers, giveaways, clearance deals and all the latest news and information on new products n Excellent customer-care support from our office team who have decades of experience working in the trade n
To work with a distributor with the IBD at the forefront of portfolio-decisions year-on-year
Distributors of great brands across the UK
Visit us at www.bob-elliot.co.uk or contact us on email@example.com Tel: 01772 459 887 BB-DEC20-BOB ELLIOT.indd 1
Cycle luggage 2 1
Z Adventure T1 Top Tube Bag
Arid Waterproof Roll Top Backpack
Cluster Saddle Bag
Z Adventure R5
Distributor: Bob Elliot
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
A top tube bag which allows the rider to carry all their essentials with them on their road or gravel bike, whilst also giving them quick access and keeping everything secure and safe. – One removable internal compartment allows for better organisation when storing items – Net pocket for batteries with cable access allowing for charging of electronics – Water-repellent material with anti-slip for better grip – Universal mounting using self-gripping straps
Functionality, comfort and safety have all been combined to create the ETC Arid Backpack. The roll top design, welded seams and high-density waterproof material construction has been partnered with a breathable foam back pad and shoulder straps to ensure maximum comfort and keeps your kit dry during your ride. As well as two internal pockets, it also includes a laptop bag that fits flush inside and a watertight front pocket.
Saddles bag for adventure, gravel and road bikes. Stable, ultra-light and 100% waterproof, available in three sizes – 7, 13 and 20-litre. The Cluster is a “must-have” for those taking a bike trip!
The Z Adventure R5 is designed to carry a large volume of items without the need for a rear rack. With several durable selfadhesive straps and anti-tear material on its base, this bag securely attaches to the saddle rails and seat post. The 5L volume is ideal for day-long outings or for training in variable weather conditions. The folding closure and waterproof fabric with heat-sealed interior can safely carry all the equipment needed for a tour.
February 2021 | 51
Packman Handlebar Pack
Rack Bag 15L
Ride Performance Backpack
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Extra UK
Practical and stylish, and perfect for those long adventure days in the saddle, the Birzman Packman Handlebar Pack provides up to 9.5 litres of fully waterproof storage. The three-point attachment reinforces overall stability. EVA foam pads offer protection against abrasion and ensure compatibility with different handlebar types. Roll top IPX5 standard waterproof carrier allows for flexible capacity adjustments.
A stylish but functional 15L trunk bag from XLC. Designed to sit atop a rear pannier, specifically the XLC system carrier, this bag comes with an adapter plate pre-mounted. IPX3 waterproofing, a rubberised zip and roll closure all ensuring the contents stay dry and orderly; perfect for the office. Two outer zips provide easy access for smaller items. Meanwhile, a detachable strap makes the bag easy to carry once you’ve arrived at your destination, too.
Convenient companion: this versatile all rounder with wide hip wings for perfect fit is made for biking, but just as great for school, uni or your daily routine. The Ride Performance Backpack comes with a comfortable, air-ventilated air pad back padding, an internal tool compartment with organiser functionality, an exterior transport flap for your helmet and also a hydration system compartment up to three litres.
The Bordo Lite 6055 Folding Lock resembles its older siblings from the Bordo family with a high level of security, flexibility and compactness. Weighing in at only 440g, the Bordo Lite 6055 is the flyweight of the family but still packs a punch. Its folded-out length of 60cm is more than enough to secure a single bicycle. New for 2021, the Bordo Lite 6055 can be used in conjunction with the Selle Royale Saddle mount (pictured) for convenient storage.
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Aqua V20 Backpack
Aventour City E Handlebar Bag
Distributor: Extra UK
Distributor: Oxford Products
Distributor: Greyville Enterprises
This range is for every journey, in all conditions. The range has been created with a strong purpose in mind, to provide tough, versatile, waterproof and adaptable storage solutions for every bicycle adventure with classic Brooks England style. The clever and versatile design allows the bags to attach directly to the bike, or onto other bags throughout the range using flexible, daisy chain solutions. The range includes panniers, frame bags, seat bags handlebar rolls and more!
This fully waterproof bag offers one large 20-litre compartment with a buckle-down roll top closure, plus a large front pocket with a water-resistant zip for quick access. Comfort is assured by ergonomic shoulder straps and an adjustable chest strap, plus 2 ‘Air Mesh’ padded back panels to provide air circulation. The bag provides good visibility at night with 360° reflective detailing and provision for mounting a rear light.
Compact well thought out handlebar bag with integrated transparent smart phone case – a phone can be used whilst protected inside the bag. Complete with shoulder strap, internal pockets and reflector with total weight 200g and load capacity of 7 kilos. Includes the KF864 Klickfix bracket specially designed for e-bikes with fittings for handlebars from 22-31.8mm.
The Weekender Duffle is the perfect bag for short trips with the bike. The roomy interior can fit all you need with ease, and separate compartments with padded dividers keep cleats away from kit or provide protection for any tech that’s coming along too. An external zippered pocket keeps essentials and any travel docs within easy reach, while a Velcro handle and over the shoulder strap provide carrying options.
9 Brooks England Scape Range
February 2021 | 53
Introducing A dedicated news service for the micromobility industry micromobilitybiz (MMB) is a brand new media outlet delivering regular updates to the burgeoning micromobility industry. It is the only dedicated trade news service for the sector. Delivered by the BikeBiz team, MMB focuses on sustainable transport solutions, from e-bikes and e-scooters to bike-sharing and hire schemes. MMB offers a free weekly newsletter, delivering the latest updates directly to readers’ inboxes, from market trends and product updates to Government initiatives and evolving legislations. With an initial database of over 4,000 professionals in the sector, MMB is a must-read for those with an interest in the business. Our dedicated team can help you reach your business goals.
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Interested in being involved? For more information about MMB and its respective editorial and advertising opportunities, please get in touch via the details below: James Groves Editor 020 3143 8779 firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Setters Sales Manager 0779 480 5307 email@example.com
Adventure Seat Pack
Hard Bar Caddy
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Distributor: Walkers Cycles
Beck panniers are super strong and beautiful panniers made from the strongest materials. The panniers from Beck are resistant to all weather conditions and have a long life. The sporty Beck panniers are new multifunctional all-rounders and are made of strong water- and dirt-repellent polyester, are colourfast and can be enlarged from 30 litres to 35 litres with a zipper. The panniers come with a rain cover, have reflective details and fit any bicycle and e-bike.
Made from a lightweight 300D Polyester Ripstop with TPU coating and featuring a fully welded construction, this seat pack has a generous maximum volume of 7.5 litres and can be rolled down should you wish to ride with a smaller load. The robust hypalon straps are sized to minimise ‘on the bike’ interference but maximise the stability of the bag. Webbings on the upper and lower of the tail allow you to attach lights, or other attachable accessories.
A rugged, semi rigid bicycle handlebar bag with modern styling. Its water-resistant design is moulded from robust EVA foam with a wide zip opening for easy-access storage. Velcro straps secure it to a variety of handlebars types and high visibility reflective loops add versatility. The main 2.2-litre compartment has an internal pocket for organisation, making it the ideal handlebar bag for commuters and adventure cyclists looking for additional storage at the front of their bike.
Serfas Double Pannier Bags - 36L capacity - 2x zip pockets - Water resistant - Light loops - Carry handle - Charcoal grey
February 2021 | 55
H2O Waterproof Frame Bag
Arid Waterproof Roll Top Pannier
Moon Bar Bag
Z Race S
Distributor: Bob Elliot
Distributor: Moore Large
Distributor: Ison Distribution
Distributor: Chicken CycleKit
The Lotus H2O Waterproof Bag collection is a tarpauline PVC material with taped seams. Keep your belongings safe and dry. - Capacity: 1.6 litres - Waterproof bag - Tarpauline PVC - With taped seams - Velcro fitting
This ETC Arid 27-litre pannier shares the same technology as its smaller cousin, roll top design, welded seams and high-density waterproof materials but it also includes a laptop bag and a greater capacity. The linked quick-release fitting system aids easy attachment and removal.
Handlebar bag ideal for urban, road and gravel riding. Modern design and compatible with all bikes. Made of weather-resistant material, it’s the perfect lightweight bag for day trips in the saddle.
The Z Race S is a frame bag made for triathletes and road racers who want to carry their nutrition. The Z Race S bag is a frame bag which fits to the top tube, either using self-gripping straps or screws. The transparent window and magnetic opening ensure quick and easy access to the contents of the bag for the riders. One removable internal compartment means a better organisation of energy bars needed by cyclists during a race.
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Zyklop Navigator IV
Carrymore Cargo Box
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Distributor: Raleigh Bike Parts
Distributor: Extra UK
Perfect for rides where phone or map navigation is required, the Birzman Zyklop Navigator IV is a water-repellent top tube bag with a see-through touch screen window (L15 x W8cm). Features a padding compartment with an inside net pocket. Easy to attach securely with Velcro straps fitting to a variety of frame sizes. Made of hard wearing 300D polyester.
For when security matters. This hard-shell cargo box sits on top of a rear pannier, with 12 litres of storage. Ideal for cycling in and around urban areas, the box is lockable using the key provided. Remove the box from your bike at the touch of a button and carry with ease using the sturdy handle. Rain isn’t an issue with a box like this either, thanks to a solid plastic exterior.
Crafted from 12oz waxed canvas and using Rixen Kaul German made Klickfix fittings, the Heritage Barbag effortlessly combines classic style with a modern design. The water resistant waxed canvas helps to keep belongings protected from showers whilst the generous five litre capacity makes it ideal for the commute or shopping trips for those essential items. There is also a lid pocket with key clip and internal pocket so that small items are easy to find. Available from March 2021.
The perfect quick-mount front rack system for road, cross, hybrid or touring bikes with rigid forks. Features an innovative top plate that can be adjusted to ensure its level to the ground, independent of fork angle. Integrated QuickTrack system allows Topeak TrunkBags to slide and lock into place and release with the push of a button. Innovative hook and loop strap mounting system cinches down tight to keep the load stable and allow mounting on a wide range of bikes.
February 2021 | 57
TALKING POINTS JAMES SMITH
The four Ps of marketing There are four generally agreed principles of marketing. You may be considering entering the market with a new product/brand – this handy little guide might help you... Price When looking at your new product, you need to decide at what price point it should sit. There are further discussions to be had at this stage, but you essentially have three options: low, middle or premium. Is your product top end – and therefore deserving of a premium price – or do you prefer to aim for the volume market in the middle or even entry-level price points? If you’re unsure, check Google and analyse your competitors. It’s a worthwhile exercise. From here, you can start thinking about the remaining Ps. Place Place refers to the ‘how’ of the product sale. You may already have a plan for this in mind, but it’s worth weighing up a number of different sales channels. The UK market has several entry channels including distribution, agents, direct retail and wholesale. Each has its own pros and cons, and they are not exclusive of one another. Distribution will require a partner with experience in the market that can hold and distribute stock. It will require a discount on retail pricing and will expect a marketing input from you. An agent will work on commission only. The UK market is large, and therefore several agents will be required to ensure full coverage. Each agent will need clear territory, pricing and brand guidelines. Agents will sell directly to retailers at full trade pricing. Most agents will have more than one brand in their portfolio. Salaried staff will need minimum wage, work location, pension contributions and will work within UK guidelines. They will, however, be fully employed and answerable only to you. Promotion There are two overarching marketing strategies: push and pull. A push strategy will use one or several of the following: sales force,
58 | February 2021
discounts to distributors or other methods of incentives to push the product on to the end consumer. This strategy is not recommended for high-end products due to the discounting nature and potential damage to the brand in the long term. A push strategy might be a discount code with a minimum spend or a BOGOF offer – these have a very strong effect of pushing a sale on to the end consumer. However, it can affect a brand negatively if overdone. It must be considered that some companies are not driven by brand quality; rather, they are driven by volume. The pull strategy form of marketing uses promotion of the brand and other online or offline methods of communication with end users, which, in general, will give more control to your brand in its communications with end consumers. A high-quality promo video, a sponsorship, a relationship with an influencer, or a curated social media profile are all examples of pull marketing. Position With reference to price, if you deem your product worthy as a premium product, then you must consider the following. A premium product would require premium packaging, product, retailers and of course brand voice. Brand will be a primary concern when reaching out to the premium market. Keller 2008 states: “A company having strong brand image is more likely to get qualified intermediaries, and middlemen working more enthusiastically to promote a product with a strong brand image and demand.” This does not mean that a middle-of-the-range product should be thrown into a plain cardboard box, but brand voice/position will not be your first priority. An entry-level brand will in the main often have lower margins, so any brand promotion, packaging etc will have to be considered against your margins. The four Ps are not the bible and are not exclusive of each other, but are a general guideline to help you make your decisions when starting out. n
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FOR A SMOOTHER RIDE.
MOTOREX BIKE LINE offers a comprehensive range of bicycle maintenance products which includes biodegradable cleaners and chain lubes, hydraulic brake fluid, specialist sprays and market leading suspension oil. Covering every cycling discipline, this range is perfect for the professional workshop, or home mechanic.
extrauk.co.uk | Exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by
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