The Changing Face Of Bike Retail, Revisited

The Changing Face Of Bike Retail, Revisited

Specifically I looked at how retail had diverged, from traditional local stores to chain-stores and then on-line only and the impact on customers and suppliers. I also speculated that changes would come, where online and retail stores would merge, as buying mountain bikes is such a tactile experience.

I wrote about the purchase of an online retailer and how it could potentially change the New Zealand retail environment, that it could potentially be beneficial and drive more people to take up bike riding in it's various forms, however I warned that it could be a threat to the existing bike specific retail chains if they could not improve their customer experience. 

Today that story has progressed, with online retailer Torpedo7 announcing that their purchase of adventure sport / bike retailer R&R Sport will take it's next steps.

Press release
A couple of weeks ago, we tipped you off that something big was on the horizon at R&R Sport. And today, we're very happy to reveal that we have joined forces with New Zealand's leading outdoor online retailer, Torpedo7.

This is great news both for customers of R&R Sport and Torpedo7, as we'll be bringing together the best of what both brands have to offer.

It will mean that you will have access to a much wider range of brands and products than ever. 

And thanks to our added buying power, they'll come at even better prices. 

There'll be an even bigger, extended range of products available online. 

And while there will be some visual changes, everything you love about R&R Sport will remain the same.

You'll still have the same stores, same locations, plus a few new ones.

You'll continue to deal with the same friendly and helpful staff, who, as people who live and breathe outdoor sport, use the gear they sell, week-in, week-out. And are happy to share their expertise.

Your Over & Above Loyalty program will not only continue, but will have thousands of products added into club pricing.

To kick the union off, we'll be giving you the chance to win $15,000 worth of outdoor gear. For your chance to win and to check out our Launch deals, head into your nearest store or visit our website on the 20th of October.

See you out there,
The crew at R&R Sport & Torpedo7
Release ends

What do I think this means for customers?

It'll mean a broader range of products will become available, as Torpedo7 have focused on become a distributor in their own right for many brands (KHS Bikes). They will now have additional product lines, such as motocross and they'll be expanding a retail brand that has been focused on offering a good in-store customer experience.

Customers will be able to have products serviced, browse for sizes and compare features. I'm not sure if they are going to introduce complementary services, such as order-online and collect, return to store, purchase on-line in-store etc. If they do offer these services, they'll certainly be leading the New Zealand retail environment.

There is something I'm aware I have not addressed... what about independent bike retailers? I think as always, their survival is dependent less on the performance of bigger retailers, but more on how they engage with local customers. An independent retailer has the advantage of being able to create and maintain a more intimate retail relationship... it's up to to them to do that, otherwise they'll see their existing and potential customers move on.

Source: Torpedo7

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