- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 20 May 2011
Chris Boardman, one of Englands most talented cyclists, has chosen an online partner for Australian distribution of Boardman Bikes. This is a young brand that builds upon the years of racing experience and which recently features as the UnitedHealthCare Pro Continental Cycling Team bike sponsor as well as bike sponsor of Aussie triathlete Pete Jacobs.
When I spoke with Andy Smallwood, Boardman Bikes Director of Operations at Eurobike last year, the brand was looking at opportunities for entering Australia. Direct distribution is tough for younger companies without local knowledge and while finding a local distributer means better access to the market, actually locating the right partner with the right arrangement is tough in a cycling world where there is no shortage of new and promising brands.
Boardman Bikes have opted for a newer approach and have selected the large UK online retailer, Wiggle, as their partner for global sales. Mentioning Wiggle (and the like) will often induce frowns in the Australian cycling industry as the popularity of online shopping and overseas purchases is cause for concern – the exclusive sales deal with Wiggle is a slight change in which the direct retail competition of identical items is eliminated. The game is changing and invites brand competition.
The global sales partnership raises new challenges such as fitting the bike to the customers satisfaction and warranty, though Wiggle have already demonstrated a forward thinking approach in business and time will tell as to how Australian cyclists will adopt this brand and retail channel. Boardman Bikes are not the only brand to select an online sales approach, Neil Pryde retail directly to consumers as well as directly to retailers across the globe.
At BNA, we look forward to reviewing Boardman Bikes in Australian conditions.
Boardman Bikes: www.boardmanbikes.com