At the start of the year BikeBiz polled 100 retailers on one of the key relationships in the bicycle trade supply line - between bike shops and distributors.
We've already seen that most bike shops felt their main distribution partner was at least helpful - and that lack of loyalty to small accounts was one of shops biggest grumbles. You can read those results here.
Here are the final two questions we put to bike shops:
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF FROM DISTRIBUTORS?
Just a quick glance at the graph shows that pricing is more important than ever to UK bike shops, with 63 per cent (37 per cent last year) asking for fairer pricing from their distributor partners. Coupled with that plea were comments asking distributors to “stop dumping product with the internet giants”. On a similar theme: “I would like to see less getting into bed with retailers who are taking us all to the bottom with pricing.”
Other non-price related suggestions included “more click and collect opportunities favouring local stores for collection” – something we are seeing grow. Then there was this point, which might be a good one to end on: “Stop making loyal IBDs re-sign every year and range price matching to combat product devaluation and help us (and them) survive.”
WHAT’S THE MAIN BENEFIT OF HAVING DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS?
‘Sourcing stock’ has shot up in importance for bike shops, up to 65 per cent compared with 51 per cent the year previous. ‘Support’ has also climbed considerably, up to 39 per cent from 28 per cent. The only fall here was in ‘Vendor Relations’, indicating that shops saw plenty of positives from distributors.
We'll be running this survey all over again at the end of 2016, as well as asking retailers to shoot from the hip and give us their opinions on a wealth of topics over the course of the year. If you'd like to have your say, on or off the record, email BikeBiz at BikeBiz@nbmedia.com