INTERVIEW: 2pure

Pure and simple: Following reports of a 67 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the first two quarters of 2009 – and picking up Pedro’s, Ibis, Di Marchi and Chamois Butt’r – Jonathon Harker speaks to 2pure director George Bowie about building brands...
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2pure has already told BikeBiz that it saw impressive sales in the first two quarters of 2009. But what drove the rise?
We committed to developing our sales team at the end of 2008 with the appointment of Marco Librizzi as sales director.

It was obvious that we needed to step up our communications with our customers, which led to close collaboration between our sales, marketing and product departments. This enabled us to flow the appropriate information more frequently to our customer base. Combined with our existing brands’ performance, it’s been at the core of our growth.

Do you expect this development to continue?
We forecast this growth rate to continue and have invested further in the past two months, employing two external territory managers, as well as bolstering our product department.

2pure recently exited three brands and then picked up four more – what’s the reasoning behind all the activity?
We have a philosophy to work with ten cycling brands with a certain criteria. We evaluated our current portfolio and realised we had some incompatibility within the brands, but at the same time opportunities presented themselves. Our portfolio is really strong from a brand, category and product position, as well as in terms of back-end supply chain and customer support.

How did the firm’s results compare with expectations at the start of the year?
We take a lot of time to evaluate each brand and category within the brand before forecasting. It is important that we set realistic and achievable stretched targets as these impact heavily on each person’s income within the business. So to say that we are only seven per cent ahead of the targets agreed by everyone in December 2008 would be an indication of the detail we go into when forecasting.

What have been the star performing sectors for 2pure in 2009? Road? Commuter?
As a distributor, we measure each brand’s product category as opposed to industry segment.
Our brands have their own positioning and predetermined market segment. It is our responsibility to work with each brand and market it to that segment as if we were the brand.

We are lucky that each of our core brands performed very well this year. However, we do see the commuting and road sectors as higher growth areas.

How have dealers reacted to the new brands?
Each brand has brought something new to 2pure. We look for products and brands that add value to categories rather than erode existing dealer sales. As such Pedro’s’ environmental policy, Ibis’ carbon philosophy (and bike of the year), DeMarchi’s return to its roots as a high-end quality manufacturer of Artisan cycling apparel and Chamois Butt’r’s – user friendly product approach to sensitive areas all qualify as unique. As such, dealers have welcomed these additional brands while repositioning 2pure as a supplier.

How does 2pure stay ahead of the competition?
We stay focused on our brands, customers and improving on what we do internally to support this. We do not focus on what our competitors are doing. It is more important to be aware of the market and invest in your business resources, than to worry about what another distributor is doing. We do, however, watch our brand competitors and offer feedback to our suppliers on what is going on in our market. Do what you do already, but better...

What are the key factors behind 2pure’s success?
Our business is about building brands. This means we have to envelop ourselves in their ethos, all ten different philosophies, but it is the only way. This allows us to then work on the back-end of the business, which revolves around customer service. At the start we invested in a software system that provides us with a fully integrated system from CRM, reporting, finance, warehouse, purchasing, B2B, marketing, communication and internal visibility.

This has enabled us to average a 96 per cent fulfilment ratio during this year, as well as improving on our communication skills with our customers.

This has seen us be rewarded by dealers with increased commitment and spend.

2pure is a relatively young company. Has the trade changed much over the three years?
We’re young at heart, with 140 years of cycle trade experience between our modest sized team of thirteen.

Three and a half years have passed by in the blink of an eye, but the most obvious trend has been how the industry has become more professional without losing its passion and personality. It is no longer just a hobby, but a business catering to an increasingly wide audience.

What is going to be the big story for 2pure in 2010?
It is a secret. Come and find out at Core Bike.

How did you find Cycle Show?
The trade day was very worthwhile. It was fantastic, for us, to talk to dealers about their businesses and, in turn, show them our newest brands.

Can you reveal what 2pure will be showing at Core?
We will have representation from all of our brands as well as some overseas visitors from the brands. Oh, and that secret thing mentioned before.

Is there anything you’d like to tell the trade?
We would like to say thanks for your support over the past 12 months, we would love to hear how we can improve and what you would like to see from 2pure in the future.

We will be at Core Bike, we will also continue to support lots of events next year, so stay in touch and we will see you soon.

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