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Head of distributor talks MSC Bikes, the new B2B and protecting the independent bike dealer

In the saddle: NRG4’s Andy Perry

BikeBiz: What bikes do you own and where’s your favourite place to ride?
Andy Perry, NRG4: I own a Felt F3 road bike and a B12 tri bike that I fight over with my oldest son.
On the mountain side, I’m privileged to own a few good bikes: the first is an MSC Carbon Zion with 150mm of travel, the second is the MSC Carbon Blast that won ‘Best Bike’ at the 2012 Taipei show with 120mm of travel all round. I also have an MSC Carbon WCR hardtail that I have to use to keep up with my oldest son, especially on the hills.
I love to ride over at Llandegla and in the Peak district as its close by. I also enjoy an annual pilgrimage to Morzine for a long weekend riding and split the rest of my time with the odd trip to Cannock Chase.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike?
I’ve recently started to ride an MSC Enduro with 170mm of travel (demo bike) and get a huge rush pushing it downhill, but riding in the Alps is just awesome especially considering the uplifts available and the amazing scenery.
To be honest, just to get out and ride at the moment would give me a rush.

Tell us a bit about your role at NRG4:
I’m responsible for all product, suppliers, marketing, sales and finance. Basically a good mix of everything we do, but we do have a management team that meet regularly to focus on all these issues and anything else that requires group decisions.
I’m the one who would visit suppliers and determine which products fit into our portfolio. More and more suppliers are asking to deal with us and, as tempting as it is, we like to keep our products portfolio this size so that we can concentrate our sales efforts on good quality highly competitive products without diluting everything.
We are a relatively small company in this industry, employing ten staff but operating all over the UK and Ireland.

NRG4 has been popping up at plenty of shows lately – how has the trade been responding to your brands/products?
We want to deal with Independent bike dealers and are willing to support them as best we can and the shows are a great way of getting this message to our customers, existing and potential.
This message is very well received by IDB’s whom often complain about the route other distributors take to market. Another reason for doing the shows is to generate a desire from the consumer for our products. This desire filters through to our dealers whom benefit from any sales.

Whats are you most excited about from your portfolio in 2013?
It’s a tough one, we have so much going on but the recent launch of our new B2B site was well anticipated by us and our customers.
This launched in January this year and helped massively to promote the products to the customers. The site has a front end for the consumer and rear end for the trade customers and is really simple to use.
We also have the Showerspass Rogue Hoodie that recently won ‘best’ winter jacket in MBUK and the MSC Blast bike that won 2012 Best bike at the Taipei show to continue promoting.

You import MSC bikes – why should retailers consider these bikes for their showrooms?
Like the rest of our Portfolio, we keep it niche and MSC are no different. From XC to full DH bikes, MSC are often winning awards for innovative bikes.
The independent bike dealers like the ‘exclusivity’ the bikes offer. I often have small crowd of people looking at my bike at the end of ride whilst I stuff my face with coffee and cake and many other more mass sold bikes don’t get a look in.
This also works for our dealers as the bikes are not readily available ‘down the road’ at discounted prices. Add to this, that we don’t ask for a ‘buy in’ commitment from the dealer, but deliver in two weeks and it’s a win situation for everyone in the chain.

How can a retailer take out an account with NRG4?
We have two ways to do this; one of these is simply to log onto www.nrg4.co.uk and click ‘create an account’ for B2B access. This takes a few minutes and gives the customer total control online. The other more customary way, is to request an account application form through the post.

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