Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

November 4, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Haas on Lachlan Morton: ‘His potential is limitless if he wants it to be’; Armstrong appears in federal court as judge hears arguments; Helen Wyman posts update on medical condition; The Death of the Local Bike Shop?; Bike stolen from cyclist killed in hit-and-run; British Cycling emphasising ‘culture’ in search for performance director; Bjarne Riis becomes partner in Danish team Virtu Pro-Veloconcept; Stan Siejka Classic final race for Tasmanian trio of Goss, Sulzberger brothers; Trek issues recall of select Farley fatbike models; Cyclist crowdfunding South Pole record attempt; Research studies of air pollution affects high-speed cyclists; Researchers test altruism with staged bicycle accident; Strider Bike World Championship.

The Death of the Local Bike Shop?

by CyclingTips

While the local bike shop has been fighting the good fight to stay relevant over the past decade, in particular from challenges brought by online retailers, two new trends could signal the final blows to traditional retailers. Direct-to-consumer business models like Canyon and mobile mechanic franchises like Velofix have the potential to cut out both of the major revenue legs of the brick and mortar shop. Is the end of the LBS nigh? Here is an excerpt from the feature:

Canyon were teasing what the pros have been testing. First was the Ultimate CF SLX Disc as tested by Katusha. Photo: David Rome.

You may have seen the diminutive Colombian bullet, Nairo Quintana, win the Vuelta a España on a Canyon. You might have salivated over test reviews of the company’s MTB line. Over the past decade, the German manufacturer has been increasing market share in Europe, growing roughly 30 percent each year and claiming nearly $180 million in revenue for 2015. What worries independent retailers is that Canyon did it entirely through direct-to-your-door online sales. Bypassing the local shop means Canyon is able to sell its bikes at a steep discount compared to prices at Joe’s Wheels and Deals. For many, the convenience and savings of purchasing online outweighs the benefits of test rides and a free tune-up.

Until now, bike shops have been somewhat insulated from the impact of e-retail, largely because a typical shop earns nearly half its revenue from sales of complete bikes, and manufacturers have heavily committed themselves to selling through bike shops and keeping their bikes out of digital shopping carts. But recently, in response to Canyon and the pressure to adapt to a changing sales model, both Trek and Giant introduced online sales.

This is big news that has seriously worried the shops that rely on these brands. To allay their concerns, both manufacturers have doubled down on their relationships with stores that carry their product. “I appreciate the bind these manufacturers are in,” says Erik Tonkin, owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair in Portland. “They’re trying to do the right thing, but they’re having to acknowledge market forces. But they also don’t want to piss off their brick-and-mortar network, so they’re trying to thread the needle.”

“Sell your shop now, or enter the demise of all brick and mortars,” says Mike Romanco, CEO at Mike’s E-Bikes, in response to Trek’s online sales program. “You’d be better off working out of your home and just having a delivery van.” Which, funny enough, is exactly what’s happening. From the swell of increased online sales and sidelined brands, the mobile mechanic has emerged, riding the wave of change in a tool-filled Sprinter.

Click through to read more at Outside Online.

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