Ask the trade: Does the bike industry leak product news too far ahead of availability?

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Bike shops the world over will have felt the dismay at least once before now of having a customer enter the shop having seen product news on the internet. The bike shop, often no more in the loop than the eagle-eyed consumer, in many cases may know that availability is months away.

With that in mind, we ask the trade whether the bike industry needs to reschedule its marketing efforts to better align with creating genuine demand for the bike dealer in line with stock availability.

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John Hoskins, Ealing cycles
I don’t think that allowing new (theoretically unavailable) equipment onto a limited market does any harm. Those retailers who are brave enough to stock it deserve the opportunity to sell such equipment before other shops have it available. As with model changes on bikes there is always a part of the buying public who want the absolute latest gizmo. They want everybody to know too.

Kevin Moreland, Bainton Bikes
Yes, it’s a pain and subsequently new bike sales dip while everyone holds fire to see what is coming. I don’t think this effects bread and butter hybrid sales, though.

Jon Askham, Kinetic Cycles
The industry certainly does leak early, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if managed correctly. Hype can be good for business and it gives a good angle to engage consumers. I think the trick is getting a product out to consumers at ‘peak hype’. The danger is delaying so long that interest cools.

Mick Murphy, Mickey Cranks
Everyone loves a sneak peek and it helps to generate a buzz for new products, the problem comes if you are overstocked and sales of old stock dries up as a result. The challenge for the IBD is to anticipate the product cycles and purchase accordingly. Manufacturers could help the distributor and the distributor could help the IBDs in this with more transparency.

Neil Holman, George Halls Cycle Centre
Yes, just look at Raleigh’s anniversary Burner, I have had three inquiries already. Raleigh gave out press statements, but they can’t tell you when they are getting them. It just confuses and frustrates people.

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