As is now expected from the ACT, there's no more sitting on the fence. It's an organisation that is no longer prepared to see a decline in membership as natural. And in a statement to BikeBiz.co.uk, the ACT re-iterated its claim that buying groups can never work in the UK:
"[The ACT is] the only organisation truly representative of the independent retail sector, as misdirected buying groups continue to flounder without the profits they require to survive."
Instead of vetting every prospective member, the ACT is willing to "embrace all independents as members, provided that they have retail premises."
"ACT is committed to raising standards and increasingly promoting the virtues of those who prove themselves as quality retailers, committed to cycling. The ideas and opportunities are endless, but what we cannot do as a sector is simply continue to talk about them, now is the time for action."
The results of this "action" are already becoming apparent, said the ACT statement, with a steady flow of membership applications, many of which are coming as result of the ACT page in BicycleBusiness (described by the ACT statement as "increased exposure and support we are receiving in the trade press").
But the membership drive is also being personalised: "ACT views suppliers, their sales staff and perhaps most importantly, current members, as being essential to developing membership and sector strength."
"A commission system to reward all new membership introductions has been in place for some time, but not widely recognised. ACT will pay £30 commission on all successful new membership introductions or, in the case of current members, deduct £30 for each new member they introduce off their next renewal fee...Who better to introduce new members than established ACT participants who recognise the benefits of power sharing? It doesn’t take many new introductions to get a whole free year’s membership!"
ACT membership now costs £200 p.a. discounted to £175 for any new members joining before 1st January 2003. Every secondary outlet costs £50 p.a., discounted to £30 for members joining before 2003. The £30 commission is applicable to the primary outlet only.
Fax: 01892 544278