CIN Podcast: ODI’s Colby Young shares his retail merchandising wisdom

Anyone who has stocked ODI Grips over the years (there’s a few of you, we think…) will no doubt be fond of the effort put in to retail merchandising for the brand.

This week’s guest on the CI.N podcast is ODI brand manager Colby Young, whose background in retail merchandising formed over 20 years at a sub-division of the grips giant.

When you’ve really got to get to… grips… with a product it’s little use having it off limits where customers are unable to touch and feel. That’s particularly important when it comes to a bicycle’s touch points and so ODI has invested in point of sale that enables customers to pick up, squeeze and test its products. A series of magnetic clasps, linking the ends of grips to a point of sale unit, enables customers to remove the grip entirely and do just that.

It’s a strategy that sells product, says Young, who points toward supermarket strategies as a guideline for what works to channel customers.

“At any of the supermarkets you go to you’ll see a lot of products by the cash registers that are impulse add-ons. For the shop to capitalise the store has to be laid out correctly and not appear too cluttered. Overly crowded makes visual isolation hard. Putting tactile products behind a counter where the customer can’t interact at all is a sure fire way to have sales decline.”

Another part of the process is analysing the shopper’s route through store and the psychology of what grabs the customer’s attention.

“We try to watch every step of the way. We do a lot of reaction testing in store to see how consumers interact and how bike shops can best utilise that reaction. It’s important too to watch the bike shop’s reaction,” says Young. “We try to innovate at every level, from manufacturing through distribution to retail. Ease of supply is also important,” says Young.

ODI recently streamlined its UK distribution, appointing Madison its sole UK supplier for both its cycling and motocross portfolio.

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To tune in to prior episodes of the CyclingIndustry.News Podcast, where guests include Chris Boardman, SRAM’s Alex Rafferty and Giant boss Bonnie Tu, click here.