Swobo is back in the UK and Europe through a distribution deal with Charlie the Bikemonger.
Taking a fresh approach to the traditional distribution/retail model, sales made online will be passed to a nearby dealer, where there is one. Dorset-based Charlie the Bikemonger is serving as the base of operations for swobobikes.eu in the UK and continental Europe.
Swobo has had an interesting decade or so - the brand went out of business in 2000 and was partially sold to Santa Cruz in 2001. With founder Tim Parr, Swobo returned in 2005 and then in 2010 Santa Cruz bought it outright, taking over Parr's minority share of the business.
With plans to stock the new Mutineer and Accomplice models initially, Bikemonger will support additional models in coming months. Swobo bicycles and apparel will be available for sale in the UK and mainland Europe in early June.
“The Swobo brand has a long history in the UK,” says Charlie Hobbs, owner of the brick-and-mortar storefront that doubles as HQ for his webstore. “In the past it hasn’t been properly supported and was unable to reach consumers effectively. Our consumer-direct website is a great avenue for people to reconnect with the brand from all over Europe."
Swobo marketing director Kevin Murphy said: “Charlie is the perfect brand ambassador for Swobo. An avid rider, partier, and definitive Avoider of the Bummer Life, it’s like he’s been part of Swobo all along.”
Hobbs added: “We are really excited to have Swobo not only back in the UK but also Europe. Swobo have an entirely fresh ownership, staff, approach, and bikes. We are all advocates and fans of the great local bike shop."
"www.Swobobikes.eu is there to look after remote Swobo customers who are not near a dealer. However, if the online customer is close to a dealer (within 25 miles) we won’t sell to them and will pass the sale on to you, the local dealer. This is a really important point. We want to reach our loyal fans and will help them get our bikes. But if there is a shop nearby that sells our brand, we’d much rather they go there and have them help out. Sure we make a hell of a lot less money that way, but it’s better to do things the right way."
The brand boasts an excellently worded “won't dick you around” warrantee - "Your customer’s problem is our problem".
Swobo, part of the Fort Collins Bicycle Company, is a bicycle brand that makes clothing and bikes that people like to ride since 1992.