David Lane and Andrew Butler have founded Paligap Ltd, a distribution and marketing company that will handle Kona sales to IBDs and to Bikehuts.
Lane and Butler are Paligap’s directors and thanks to the distribution deal into Halfords were able to secure bank finance to fund the start up of the company.
Lane – 15 years with Caratti-cum-Schwinn/GT Europe - was the person responsible for getting Kona into Halfords.
Kona bikes are mostly named after locations in Hawaii and, keeping to the tradition, Paligap also has connections to Hawaii. Pali is the name of a coastline from one of the islands of Hawaii and Pali Gap is a Hawaii-inspired Jimi Hendrix record from 1970 - listen to it at http://www.mlandrum.com/paligap.ram
A dealers letter from Paligap Ltd said:
“Kona decided that whilst supply from Kona Europe was possible there was no
substitute for a specialist, committed and enthusiastic UK based distributor.
Paligap intend to introduce some fresh vitality to Kona in the UK and intend
to offer a package to Kona dealers that is both innovative and rewarding.”
The tie-up with Halfords will mean there will be more money for Kona advertising and there will be more sub-£400 machines in the 2002 range, which is where the 88-strong Bikehut ‘store-within-a-store’ chain is strongest.
IBDs specialising in the more exotic – and expensive – parts of the Kona offering will still be able to count on what the Paligap dealer letter calls “niche and specialist models.”
“The bread and butter, volume sector is much improved . We are confident that many dealers will actually double their Kona sales with the 2002 line up,” said the dealer letter.
JP Saville is now working for Paligap Ltd and he will be ‘on the road’, servicing IBD accounts.
“Paligap, with its committed, experienced and enthusiastic staff are hungry
and keen to take Kona onto a new level. They have the resources, experience
and, importantly, the support and backing of Kona to ensure that the name
will prosper under their direction,” said the dealer letter.
Kona Europe - which on the Konaworld website still has itself listed as the distribution contact for the UK and Eire - has entered into an agreement with Halfords to ensure that the chain limit its sales volume to that of IBD stockists of Kona.
“Halfords will cap its distribution of Kona to around 120 stores. Our aim is also to have 150 independent Kona dealers for Kona,” Lane told bikebiz.co.uk.
Second Level Sport had just over 100 IBDs on its books.
Unit 9 Willment Way
Tel. 01179 823673
Fax. 01179 825500
JP Saville can be contacted on his mobile, 07720 806406 or firstname.lastname@example.org