There are two 'entrances' to the Harrogate show: the main one via the new Hall M and the traditional one, via Hall A. Nottingham companies Giant and Raleigh both claim they booked stands at the 'entrance'. It looks as though Giant have won this little tussle, though, because the registration desks have been removed from Hall A.
So, what do show visitors see when they enter the show? A large, bright, airy and open stand from Giant. And two big plasma screens which Giant staff are using to demonstrate the new Giant B2B website.
This is simplicity itself, with no flash graphics, but this low-key approach belies the site's potential usefulness for Giant dealers. Some of those currently without web-access are now seriously considering getting online after they were shown demos of the system yesterday at the show, said Giant's sales and marketing director Ian Beasant.
Rolling out Euro-wide later in the year, the site allows real-time stock-checking; order placement; order tracking and account history.
The site is now live but the order history is from April only.
And soon to be available in the UK are US-designed Giant bikes.
At the show Giant is launching the 2003 Boulder/GSR entry-level products.
“We want to offer best value products with our name on,” said Beasant.
“You can get entry-level Sony electronic products, we don’t think creating sub-brands is a good idea.”
This is a reference to Saracen’s Pulse and Raleigh’s Virus brands.
From left to right:
Eddy Meerens, vice president sales and marketing Giant Europe; John Koo, vice president Giant Europe; Jan Derkson, president Giant Europe (sitting); Ian Beasant, sales and marketing directer Giant UK; John Kawecki, director of operations Giant UK; Tony Lo, president Giant Inc.