DISTRIBUTION FOCUS: 2pure and Hotlines - BikeBiz

DISTRIBUTION FOCUS: 2pure and Hotlines

What are the challenges and advantages of running a bike distribution business north of Hadrian's Wall? We speak to 2pure and Hotlines to find out...
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Scotland contains two of the UK’s best-known cycle trade distributors – 2pure and Hotlines. Located just 27 miles from each other, the two are Core stalwarts. 

Founded in 2006, 2pure distributes in the UK and Ireland, representing POC, Lizard Skins, Mio, Honey Stinger and Nathan. Hotlines brings Lapierre, Lynskey, Ghost and many more to the trade, including own brands Nukeproof, Ragley and Brand X.

“We are a national distributor, with 87 per cent of our business being outside Scotland,” 2pure MD George Bowie tells BikeBiz. “Whilst Scotland is our home there is an importance that we make it simple to do business with us wherever our customers are.

“We have loads of positives here – three major closed road events, amazing mountain biking, endless running events, all of which showcase some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Also having hills helps.

“We are blessed with a fantastic range of events that cater to everyone. We are involved with most events on our doorstep.

“The only thing that could be improved is the quality of some of the road surfaces for commuters in some of the bigger cities. Edinburgh in particular has experienced a lot of problems due to the new tram network.”

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In business terms, it has been a strong 12 months, Bowie reveals: “It has been a great year. There has been a fantastic response to Eddy Merckx bikes and POC has now established themselves as a road market player. We feel like we have made the industry look at 2pure and realise we are not just a distributor of MTB equipment anymore.”

Behind the scenes it has been a big 2015 too, merging with sister company 9point9, which operates in the outdoor sector, at the start of the year. “Nearly six months later the combined business has shown phenomenal sales growth. Now renamed as 2pure Active, the outdoor, snow, and running side of the business has helped contribute to a 37 per cent (2pure Cycle) and 58 per cent (2pure Active) increase in sales to date compared to last year. Some of the increase has come from strong performances from existing brands and some from recent new distribution deals.

“The merging of the two businesses has made it easier for us to sell products into both sides of the business, and it makes it clearer to dealers that they have ready access to the many opportunities within our business. I am particularly pleased to see that our growth has come both from brands where we have a long-standing relationship and also from our more recent brand acquisitions. We expect this trend to continue for the full year.”

How about 2pure’s neighbour? “We’ve had a pretty good year so far,” Hotlines marketing manager Martin Astley tells BikeBiz. “A few brands in particular are going from strength-to-strength. WTB has revitalised its tyre and saddle ranges and the brand is really gaining big chunks of market share right now. They have some amazing new product and more to come. Lynskey has always been a great brand for us and it continues to grow. iXS have really cemented their position as a market leader in protection over the last 18 months. The recent release of their Xult crossover helmet (pictured) is very exciting for us. There is plenty to be positive about!”

Hotlines will be at the NEC Cycle Show for the first time this year, following up its Core Bike Live appearance. “The show seems to be really strong now so we will be taking both Lapierre and Nukeproof this September,” says Astley. “We will also be attending the new Rouleur classic show in November. We will be exhibiting Gaerne shoes and Lynskey frames – Mark Lynskey himself is coming to the event to man the stand.”

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If the Hotlines stalwart could change one thing about cycling in Scotland what would that be? “If you asked anyone in our office I’m pretty sure 99 per cent would say the weather! Scotland is blessed with some world class cycling both on and off road as well as some amazing international events. But the weather isn’t always the best!

“Both [Fort William and Tweedlove] are amongst the best in the world. It’d be nice to see the Tour start in Scotland one day though...”

www.2pure.co.uk

www.hotlines-uk.com

This month the BikeBiz Regional Spotlight is focused on Scotland and the North of England.

This article first appeared in the August edition of BikeBiz. Which you can download or read online for free.

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