“Merckx acquisition will improve both businesses at all levels of the chain,” says Ridley

Ridley’s recent take over of fellow Belgian bicycle brand Eddy Merckx Cycles will benefit both brands and dealers of each label.

With consolidation of Eddy Merckx operations now expected, the priority for the new owners is to reduce the exorbitant costs that had caused the Eddy Merckx business to recently post higher turnover, yet record a €5.7 million loss in 2016.

Speaking at Eurobike Media Days, Ridley’s marketing man Martin Put told CI.N: “The link to a fellow Belgian brand with such enormous heritage was a no brainer, the economics of bringing both brands under one umbrella makes good sense. There will be some consolidation of the Merckx business as it needs balancing. Previously extra money was pumped into the business, but without looking at the root cause of the problems, primarily its costs.”

It is no surprise then to learn that Merckx’ assembly will now fall within Ridley’s facility, which even at seven years old offers ample room to add volume.

“There’s room at Ridley for 18 mechanics assembling, while at present we’ve 10. The same goes for warehousing, we can accommodate plenty more and we’ve made substantial improvements to our efficiency lately to handle large volumes of business better,” says Put. “It’s likely that with our enhanced buying power on things like groupsets we’ll be able to kick both brands up a gear in value terms and very likely improve dealer margin. Ridley has a dense dealer network in Europe, so we can very quickly broaden the Merckx business among road specialists who may be interested in what is a very highly respected label.”

The two brands will remain separate entities, though some research and development and staff will now be split across the pair.

Ridley’s UK distribution is currently handled by Sportline UK, while 2Pure manage the Eddy Merckx distribution.