Over a short space of time Reid Bikes has gone from a tiny local operation selling online to a brand courted by international markets.
The Australian bike label, conceived by James Reid in 2009, went global just over a year ago, with distribution in Germany, Switzerland and Singapore, with discussions in Chile, Spain and the US ongoing. And then there’s the UK – the team has been setting up since June last year and stock is arriving in April.
The range includes road, MTBs, commuter hybrids, vintage, cruisers, fixies and singlespeeds.
International Sales Manager Rob Akam has been with Reid for three years. Founder James Reid progressed from selling online before launching his own ecommerce site. He then opened his first store in Melbourne, the first of a mini store empire in Australia. In 2012 Akam became one of those store managers. As the brand grew, Akam was promoted to GM in 2013, the same year the Perth store opened with record day one sales of $24,000. As the years passed by, Akam was keen to move back to the UK and with the brand feeling ready to compete with ‘A’ brands globally, a new COO was hired and Reid Bikes was a global enterprise.
So what’s the appeal of the bikes? Akam explains: “For customers, they are well designed and good quality, at a lower price than most competing brands.
“We have about ten staff involved in design, production, quality control (eight staff based in China and Cambodia) and international logistics.
“For a UK retailer we are offering very attractive margins of up to 50 per cent on some models, and still keeping retail price low. We are working on very lean margins to give retailers and customers a better deal. We are also giving all retailers access to our marketing suite, as well as plenty of in-store material and promotional items.”
Dealers are being sought to take on the brand and Akam assures us there are plenty of reasons to get on board. “We have a good supply ability, with six drops currently scheduled through the season. We are keen to grow the brand rapidly in the UK and support dealers as much as we can. We will also be doing a lot of end user marketing, which is what we do in Australia, to drive customers to stores.”
With the former general manager here in the UK, the brand has some ambitious targets. Akam elaborates: “We aim to be available throughout the UK very quickly with a good coverage in all major towns and cities with two years. We have a good budget behind us to help to make this happen.”
Akam tells BikeBiz that there are no intentions of opening Reid Stores in the UK, but the retail experiences in Australia have put them in good stead to help shops.
“In Australia we retail over 50,000 bikes yearly so we are uniquely placed to advise on how best to sell them. Our Melbourne shop sold 230 bikes in one day last Christmas, and our website took $250k in the week leading to Christmas. We want to help retailers sell our products in high volume too.”
Akam has a message he’s keen to get across to the trade: “Basically, come to us, get a better deal. We focus on design, lifestyle and quality. Our vision is ‘to grow the global bike community by making it fun and easy for everyone to ride a bike, every day’. We are also redesigning our distribution site to be more end user and retailer friendly and adding a lot of resources there too.”