Dealers of Intense Bicycles around the globe have been informed that the brand now intends to sell direct to the consumer, something which goes live today.
A stockist of the brand CI.N spoke with last week said: “Saddleback rang the shops on Wednesday to tell dealers that sales will now go direct from Intense online.”
CyclingIndustry.News can now clarify that the bike brand has chosen to sell via a Canyon-Esque route to market, but with Saddleback remaining as a stock, service and warranty partner, provided via the Yate headquarters. Orders will be placed via a dedicated online portal for UK customers, found at uk.intensecycles.com (for UK customers). A 14-day ride or return policy will cover sales and bikes will be shipped free of charge.
As a result prices of the bikes are expected to fall by approximately 25% to 30% to better compete with other direct labels.
Saddleback’s marketing man Declan Deehan told CyclingIndustry.News dealers that were not asked to remove stock from listing, as previously reported, with dealers now entitled to move stock on as they see fit, adding that Saddleback is available to help its partners through the transition.
“We advise dealers who are not currently carrying stock to remove product listings from their site. To the dealers who still have stock in store, we are completely supportive of keeping them listed and selling them as they deem necessary. Saddleback dealers remain our priority and the back bone of our business and we will continue to help and support them as best we can,” Deehan told CI.N
“While The majority of dealers have been understanding of these changes, it has taken some by shock. Unfortunately this decision was out of our hands, but I want to re-assure dealers that Saddleback is 100% committed to its retail partners, our business is built around this network and they remain our priority.
“With Intense’s recent decision to roll out the new Rider Direct Programme globally, we had to make a decision, a decision we did not have the luxury of time over. Either get behind our extensive investment in the brand, and move forward with Intense to ensure the programme could be delivered to its potential in the UK, or walk away and suffer the loss. As an exception to the Saddleback business model our dealer network has always been our primary focus and continues to be for all our other brands.
“At Saddleback we always get right behind or brands, from day one and aim to hold as much stock as possible, put in place a comprehensive marketing plan and work closely with our dealers to build the brand within our market place. Intense was no exception and our commitment to the Intense marketing plan alone to support our dealer network in 2017 is well into six-figures.”
Earlier this year Intense launched a Europe-wide online sales channel which sold to consumers, but which redirected the sale through a local stockist. At present the online store carries a banner that suggests pricing listed at present may not be correct and that the page is still under construction.
“For all those unconditional online shoppers,from today you can order your Intense bike online,” read the email sent to the brand’s database at the time.
“We would like to thank our retail partners for all their support with Intense and genuinely appreciate their understanding for Intense’s decision,” concluded Deehan.
Saddleback had distributed the mountain bike label since April of 2016, throwing significant investment into the brand’s UK exposure.