Bike retailers have taken to a sponsored Facebook post promoting the new Shimano Ultegra groupset in numbers outlining why they “see no point in stocking it” due to prices available elsewhere on the internet.
The ongoing feud between bricks and mortar stores and the manufacturing giant spilled onto the publicly visible social media network as the firm undertook a promotional drive on the groupset update.
One aggrieved retailer, whose comment has been widely supported on the social channel, posted: “As a LBD there’s absolutely no point in stocking it or anything else from Shimano anymore. Chain Reaction are already discounting pre-orders and will inevitably lower the price again beyond trade. The rest of us (who helped you get where you are) just can’t afford to compete. More wall space for SRAM, I suppose.”
Shimano responded rightly outlining that they cannot control pricing, stating “All dealers are completely free to determine their own resale prices including discounts.”
While generally accepted that pricing cannot be influenced, Shimano’s response has seemingly further stoked the feeling among retailers visiting the page that the brand isn’t listening to complaints on supply, something which the firm can police.
On reading Shimano’s response another retailer adds: “and that’s why there’s no point in stocking it. Web sellers getting OE product or being happy to make a tiny margin will destroy the traditional bike shop. You could do as many other companies do and carefully pick who is selling it. As long as you’re happy.”
Others further complained that stock availability of key lines has been lacking this year.
“You might want to prioritize your LBD first on launches to set the market,” added another store manager.
Back in March of 2016 Drew Johnson, owner of World Famous City Cycle, wrote to Shimano asking if a fix was on the horizon to assist the dealer in maintaining a margin on Shimano sales. At the time he claimed Shimano said of the problem “there is nothing on the horizon” and would therefore shift to alternatives. CyclingIndustry.News has further previously been declined when approaches have been made to discuss the role of the independent bike shop in Shimano’s future plans.