BikeBiz catches up with Lee Kidger, parts and accessories business manager, Raleigh UK, who showcases Saris’ hand-made products, sustainable sources and unique design
Can you give us a little background on the Saris brand?
Saris started in 1989 with the vision of creating products that are designed by cyclists for cyclists. Saris products are still manufactured in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, with all the materials being sourced locally to the factory. The company has put a great deal of focus on sustainability, something that resonates with Raleigh UK and consumers alike. The Saris group has gone through a rebrand in 2019 so that all products are branded under the Saris name which includes car racks and smart indoor trainer systems. Premium quality long-lasting products that are hand made in the USA from sustainable sources are the key pillars of the Saris brand.
What is your vision for Saris?
Here at Raleigh UK, we are constantly looking at new ways to be more sustainable and a major part of this is working with brands that share this vision. Saris is rapidly growing here in the UK as the message of quality without compromise hits home with consumers. We will continue to develop the brand both at consumer and trade levels, this will offer the IBD products that drive consumers into store. We firmly believe Saris is one of the market leaders in design and innovation in both indoor training, cycle carrier and infrastructure categories.
What is your distribution model, and why does it suit Saris?
We are fully committed to giving our IBD customers all the tools necessary to offer a first-class service, with the Saris approach to retail as ‘one to show one to go’, thus keeping stock holding low and using the 9pm cut off for next day delivery service to its advantage. There is also home delivery service available for customers placing orders on the Raleigh B2B. We understand products need to be where the consumers want to buy, mainly driven by convenience.
What is your relationship with IBDs, and to what extent are you collaborating with them?
We continue to support the IBD network with industry-leading logistics, great brands and great availability. Saris is no exception to this, there is in-store point of sale, full digital assets and we are continuing to offer our request a sample marketing function. We believe the staff selling products are the best advocates for brands selling the brands they like and affiliate with, we fully support this.
Saris is a brand well suited to specialist independent retailers, the well-known Saris Bones range of products has worked very well for the IBD network (there are over one million Bones 3 units being used). There are also plans to grow the Saris indoor training demo centres across the IBD network supported with a complete package to demonstrate smart indoor trainers in the best way possible.
What does Saris offer that your competitors perhaps do not?
Saris is one of the market leaders in both cycle carriers and indoor trainers, with many raw materials that make up the products being sourced locally to the Saris factory in Madison. Saris has a unique design and manufacturing process which is all handled in house resulting in a tight control on quality, design and finish.
What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?
Plans for 2020 and beyond are to continue to make sure consumers can shop the Saris brand, wherever they would like to buy. There will be more products to showcase and more focus on sustainability from the design, manufacturing and packing process.
We have an ambitious plan to run more indoor training events to highlight the benefits of this growing market to both the consumer and as best practise to the IBDs.