Moore Large talks consolidation, rebranding and why Click and Collect has become important

For some time now Click and Collect has been a hot topic in the industry, with the industry’s A team heavily investing in infrastructure to allow a consumer to order online with the brand and then collect that delivery at their local dealers’ store.

“We might be one of the first distributors to implement such a model,” says Dale Smith, Now Moore Large’s Director for Bikes and Accessories. “We’re almost kicking ourselves that we didn’t put this into place sooner as we are finding that we receive a lot of traffic to our sites delivered via our marketing. We don’t want to risk losing that sale to a competitor, so it makes sense to secure this business online and deliver it to our retail partners.”

The strategy update comes on the back of a period of consolidation for Moore Large, whereby the business will become sleeker and more efficient, both with its marketing and with staff resource.

Like many others, 2015 began well for Moore Large, but a poor summer has forced the distributor’s hand to accelerate some perhaps overdue consolidation, explains Smith.

“It’s a good thing as it has prompted us to look inwardly at what we can improve upon. We’ve begun to heavily futureproof the business and we have realigned some resource in order to work a little smarter,” says Smith. 

Retail partners are set to benefit from the changes, says the distributor, with converted checkouts redirected to retailers within a 20 mile radius of the customer. It’s down to the customer to choose their pick up point and the destination shop will retain the same margin as previously available.

The restructuring Smith speaks of begins with a brand consolidation that will see ETC absorb One23, BMX brand Savage, Apex Helmets and OuterEdge Clothing.

On the bike side, Forme aims to level the playing field with the market’s giants by bolstering the consumer’s value for money, as well as broadening the catalogue by incorporating the Cuda, Freespirit and Bumper labels to eventually sit under the banner. A small branded accessories range will also become part of the offering. The Moore Large label will also go on a marketing offensive to emphasise its UK-inspired design with hopes of grabbing domestic market share. Stockists will benefit from enhanced credit and free carriage on all UK mainland deliveries, maximising the shop’s margin.

Furthermore, Smith says that “added value” after the sale has become a key incentive for stockists to push Moore Large’s brands. In Forme’s case, six months free insurance on a bike purchase will now come as standard , as well as a program of complimentary extras bundled in with a purchase.

“It makes a lot of sense from both a marketing and sales force perspective to consolidate our house offering. We’re streamlining our portfolio so a marketing message covers a greater chunk of product, while our team on the road are able to meet dealers more often, thanks to our reshuffle,” says Smith.

That reshuffle sees what was historically two teams – bikes and P&A – become a single department.

“Our bicycle side had fewer reps and they covered sometimes very large territories, so we concede that some dealers weren’t visited frequently enough,” says Smith. “On the accessory side the reverse was sometimes true, so our accessory brand reps will now carry entry to low value bikes with them. The bicycle reps will then have fewer brands to focus on and should be able to develop better relationships with our partner stores.”

On the road, reps will be kitted out with a new real-time IOS based on and offline ordering system to streamline the sales process. Three bicycle reps (north, south and central) are now to look after the premium bike brands such as Forme, Haro, Cuda Performance, Moda, Bobbin and Peugeot.

Now under one roof, the product teams and shipping teams have a closer working relationship. Marketing too is part of the new office structure at the Derby HQ.

An investment into the B2B is part of the distributor’s futureproofing and a tech-savvy partner to streamline the portal has now been found.

“We’re currently doing a lot of research and having countless meetings to better understand what this B2B upgrade will need to deliver and of course taking into account the new services we will offer such as click and collect,” explains Smith.

“We’re looking outside of the bike industry, as well as within to develop a cutting edge platform to best serve partner stores. It’ll certainly help the retailer become more self-sufficient in that you’ll be able to print invoices, have stock levels automatically refresh and there will be multiple access levels to allow the retailer to have their staff log on with pre-set privileges. The layout will be able to be manipulated to the retailer’s preferences and should they choose to, you’ll also be able to use the system as a sales tool with sensitive information removed.”

Moore Large expects the revamped system to be live by early summer, with much of the rebranding haven taken shape by then.

With all the effort that’s going into redeveloping the Moore Large portfolio, the consumer-facing Todays’ Cyclist banner will fade into the background, we were told.

“Moore Large has a strong name in cycling and we are keen not to confuse anyone, so Todays’ Cyclist will be retired soon,” said Smith. “The B2C portal revamp will come shortly after the B2B and will be built around driving footfall to our retailers. The entire investment is only happening as we are luckily in good financial shape. It’s costing 100s of thousands as opposed to tens. It’s quite a commitment at a time where we expect others to be scaling back spending.”

Electric Dreams

Having had an unsuccessful first foray into electric bikes some years ago many dealers have been intrigued by the distributor revisiting pedal-assist bikes.

“It’s a desirable product now and finally the electric bike is being given the same respect here that it earns on mainland Europe. For many it’s about the enjoyment of a long day out in the saddle and the product now has a quality of range and performance that’s backed by some renowned labels in cycling,” says Smith.

“The potential for the market to grow is extremely evident and Peugeot is a recognised brand for the majority of people, so it’s faith inspiring for the customer. It’s still a considered purchase, of course, but the value we can offer is astonishing compared to just a few years ago. A lot of motorcycle retailers have taken an interest too.”

On to the mountain bike portfolio and the recent additions of Polygon, O’Neal and Azonic has brought renewed interest from specialists.

“Polygon is a brand that, despite having no real presence here before now, has a huge global following, especially on the back of Red Bull Rampage. Before taking the label on, our product managers did their research and found that the brand’s own marketing has been hugely effective. Demand is very high already and it’s a brand that needs no introduction to off-road retailers, they all want a piece.”

Polygon now in stock with Moore Large

With a period of change now underway, Smith points to a wider industry trend, suggesting Moore Large’s current restructure won’t be the last you’ll hear of in the coming years.

“The industry is more challenging than ever. More of us are going for a slice of the pie that’s not growing at present. It means that we need to work both smarter and harder to sustain both our business’s growth, as well as our partners. Those who don’t take steps to futureproof now will fall behind,” concludes Smith.

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