Holy shit. Bicycle Bizz Behemoths have made major moves in the last couple of weeks.
Shimano slashes prices across the board at MSRP and for their retailers.
Giant announces direct online sales to consumers.
Heads roll over at Specialized.
Chain Reaction Merges with Wiggle.
What are we seeing here? Obviously, our industry’s largest forces are retrenching and preparing for a brave new world. In back room meetings and over expensive lunches heads of state are contemplating and executing their new strategies. Meanwhile, bicycles dealers are chomping their Triflow stained fingernails down to the quick and wondering how or if they fit into this new and dynamic landscape.
Where’s all of the communication folks? Where’s the transparency? The partnership? The appreciation for the men and women who work everyday on the front lines?
Come on already. What the hell is happening? I could literally spend all day talking to dealers about what we think is “really” going on, why this or that happening, and what these implications mean for our beloved Independent Bicycle Retailers.
The real question here is, why must we speculate?
The IBD brings incredible value to the bike industry. Our nation’s bike shops serve as a hub of cycling culture in every community. Even a shop in a sleepy rural town, where sales jerks like myself never visit, means something to someone.
Bike shops are special. They are the heart, soul, and personality of the cycling universe that I want to live in. Each of them housing an eccentric group of people who do a job because they have a passion to share the joy that only a bicycle can bring.
Also, bike shop employees are experts. At least the good ones. They connect a forum trolling-review obsessed-online slave network of people to the things that really matter. People, community, the coalescence of metal and rubber that make up a bicycle.
So, come on friends. If we’re going to make big moves, let’s make them together. Fuck.