MiRiDER sales director Matthew Higginson talks hand-assembly, commitments and customer delight
Can you provide us with a short introduction to MiRiDER?
The MiRiDER business is one of several companies owned by my family in Lancashire. The business founder – my father, Mark Higginson – is the entrepreneur behind Disklok, Festive Lights and DriBox. Through a family friend a number of years ago, he was introduced to the potential of the e-bike market. His skills to develop and bring quality products to market, along with those of our family and the team, resulted in the first generation of MiRiDER One being launched in 2018.
At the heart of the business ethos was the drive to supply a quality product and the very best value. When applied in conjunction with the genuine desire to deliver a personal service for customer delight, the brand value and reputation has continued to grow year-on-year.
MiRiDER currently has circa 60 dealers across the UK (including the Isle of Wight and Ireland) but it has ambitions to fill territories which are not represented, such as across the Midlands, the North East, South East and Wales.
What makes MiRiDER unique?
Hand-assembled in Wigan, each bike is built by a trained operative to ensure the quality is consistent. Our team actively engages with their customers via a Facebook Group and takes all feedback on board.
The engineering behind the compact folding e-bike is superb and there’s constant R&D into both product improvement and future models in the range. The retail price point, £1,395 places the bike in a very competitive position given the quality of components used, and being hand assembled here in the UK.
You mentioned the bikes are assembled by hand. Tell us more about your facilities.
The whole build and parts operation had operated from within a large commercial unit attached to one of MiRiDER sister company’s e-commerce operations. From June 2021, the business moves into its own operational space in an adjacent unit, still based in Wigan. This new 7,000 sq ft space will provide the build bays, parts and accessory storage and servicing facilities for MiRiDER customers.
The business has very exciting plans to create a space to welcome retailers and their customers, or for retailer product training, and to welcome commercial partners and retail customers alike. MiRiDER will continue using its parent company’s distribution facilities to a very high standard.
How available is stock at present?
We have plenty of stock on commitment for 2021 and beyond therefore we are in a great position to welcome new dealers and be confident of supporting their commitment to the MiRiDER brand. A new dealer can join us initially with a one bike purchase but will receive free shipping on three bikes.
What sort of feedback have you received?
There are over 60 retailers offering the MiRiDER One and the business is actively seeking more customer-centric retailers to join the network. In terms of reviews, ebiketips, TechRadar, BikeRadar and TechAdvisor have all rated the 2021 bike 4.5/5 stars – testimony to the commitment of the business to improve and develop the products and services it provides.
In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on MiRiDER?
There was a large commitment made to the frame manufactures late 2019/early 2020 so the stock levels in 2021 are very healthy at this point in time. The MiRiDER sales rates are following the company’s predicted trend with an upswell in demand from those enjoying the bikes for leisure rides, however the commuter segment had yet to return.
How would you define the brand’s long-term vision?
The commitment is for 3,500 unit sales in 2021 through a combination of direct and sales via our retailer network. In May, two Edition bikes were released to highlight a degree of customisation available. These have been received very positively and more designs are in the pipeline.
We recognise the staycation leisure market and the potential there, plus the return to post-COVID working and commuting in the cities. Those are both markets we want to increase our focus upon. Accessories are constantly under review, as is product improvement, and considerable investment is being made in the next-gen MiRiDER, which is incredibly exciting.
Without giving too much strategic information away, our long term ambitions would be optimistic for such a new company but very achievable for the structure we have built. We have our eyes set on domestic manufacture and a distribution network across Europe and the US with various forms of e-mobility. It will take a little time to achieve this but with the knowledge and drive shared within our group of companies, this is an exciting period for the brand to execute.