PROFILE: Five years on from launching in Australia, first stock of Reid Bikes arrived in the UK in early April.
With what the brand says are significant margins for dealers, there are key territories in the UK still up for grabs.
One shop that has taken the brand on is Velo Vitality, nestled among artisan coffee shops and cafes in Brighton’s North Laine district. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Jenny and Jon Holmes, the lifestyle bike store opened in 2012 and was one of the first stores in the UK to start stocking Reid vintage bikes.
The lifestyle and urban retailer were first drawn to the brand thanks to the Reid stand at last year’s NEC Cycle Show and a Mint Green vintage classic.
Jon Holmes said: “When we saw the bikes on the stand, we immediately knew we were on to a winner – and we don’t get that very often. It was the first time we have come across a brand and knew, no question, that our customers would like and buy these bikes.
“Reid opens up a new price bracket that wasn’t being fulfilled, stylish affordable bikes in the £250 to £350 range. What Reid does that no one else does is that they have bought in bikes in that bracket, that compete with the next price bracket up – which opens us up to people that want that type of bike, but have a slightly lower budget,” the retailer said.
“[They offer] simple bikes, good colours, not over branded and with decent parts – and very competitive margins. It’s a lower price bike, but the total profit we make is as much as selling a more expensive bike, but it’s an easier sell as the RRP is lower.”
While Reid is introducing a full range of MTB, road and hybrid to the UK market, it’s the brand’s vintage bikes which are their best known. Velo Vitality has seen most success with the all-aluminium Vintage Alloy Lite, retailing at £299. Holmes says: “Being in Brighton, lightweight is key. Also a big perception of this type of bike is that they are very heavy. Showing customers that they can get a light version is great – getting a customer to lift up the bike really changes their mind on this type of bike.”
Reid offers a range of styles and colours, with the pastel shades proving popular. According to Velo Vitality there’s been no stand out colour so far other than the Mint Green, Watermelon and Baby Blue performing well, with the black vintage bikes expected to probe more popular in winter.
While new to the UK, Reid is drawing on an extensive library of marketing material, as well as retail experience gained over in Australia, where the brand itself operates six bricks and mortar stores and an online site. Holmes adds: “Reid is not a ‘new’ brand, and there seems less of a need to make people aware of the brand history, as they have good online presence. Customers often get worried about buying into new brands, but that hasn’t been a problem with Reid – people are still buying without prior knowledge about the company, and that isn’t very common.”
“Shops should test the market with Reid. It’s not a big expense and it’s not a risk. There are plenty of people after stylish bikes. Over the last few years people have really started to seek out this type of affordable, comfy town bikes,” Holmes concludes.
Velo Vitality are open Monday to Saturday at 44 Trafalgar Street, Brighton BH1 4ED www.velovitality.co.uk