Editor’s note: At a session Thursday monring at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, California, leaders of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes explained their plan to merge the organizations. Andre Shoumatoff, the former owner of a bike retail business in Utah, read the following letter at the session.
This letter represents the opinion of myself and associates in the cycling industry, who deeply understand the Internet as well as our market, and often from the retailer perspective.
We support the merger of the BPSA into People For Bikes. However, with note of several factors, as outlined in this letter.
A primary issue facing manufacturers, and retailers, in the bicycle industry is a lack of systems, procedures, and standardization for how business is conducted. The result is what could easily be a 10-to-15 percent drag on the operations of retailers who are already struggling with margins of usually around 5 percent. This means they are only $50,000 profitable for each $1M they do, and the slightest hiccup can easily put a retailer out of business, just as we see too often. At the same time, this same lack of standards could also easily be so much as a 5 …read more