The scheme originally only available to members is now open to all IBDs regardless of ACT membership and already has over 230 IBDs signed-up to participate. ACT is actively encouraging more IBDs to come on board prior to the scheme going live later in the year, and hopes to have at least 500 retailers participating in the scheme by early next year.
The scheme enables customers to benefit from insurance replacements and specialist legal services offered via participating cycle retailers. ACT estimates the scheme can achieve in excess of 10 000 cycle replacements via the IBD network within the first year of re-launch.
ACTs marketing manager Mark Brown said:
Depending on whose figures you believe there are anywhere between 100 000 and 400 000 cycles stolen each year, which makes cycle insurance replacements big business.
"But it's business currently confined to a few specialists working direct with insurers. This means IBDs often lose the customer relationship and their business every time a bike is replaced direct via an insurance company, not to mention bike brands losing loyalty and consistency of delivery and customers missing out on the specialist service IBD provide in-store. This new scheme offers IBDs a cost effective way of regaining some of that business.
As well becoming available to any IBD who wants to offer it, the scheme now also receives endorsement from Brompton, Giant, GT, Mongoose, Specialized and Trek. Brown said the ACT would welcome endorsements from more brands and companies.
Edward Donald, marketing director at Brompton, said: The new scheme is a positive move to grow the relationship between the bike owner and their local IBD. The combined benefits of the scheme will give IBDs a chance to promote a range of added value services and reinforce their role in their cycling community."
Treks Nigel Roberts said: "Trek fully endorses this scheme and we would encourage our dealers to participate. We believe it enables them to provide a unique service for their customers and hence keep those customers.
The ACT scheme is run in conjunction with Cycle Claims Management Services which are a division of Law Shield UK. CCMS work direct with insurance companies and are specialists in managing cycle insurance claims.
Brown said: What we hope to do is offer customers a viable choice in terms of how and where their bike is replaced. We want to get people back into IBDs where they can benefit from a new value-added service which perfectly complements the existing IBD offering. Enabling all of this through an IBD is a great service for customers and an excellent prospect for every IBD to develop their business.