In Part One of this series, we looked at the fact that while more retailers are offering assembly services, the market for D2C bikes seems to be a lot smaller than conventional wisdom would suppose. The plain fact is that brick and mortar operations will continue to command the lion’s share of the new bike business, especially at specialty retail price points. Part Two explored the implications of SKU proliferation and inventory requirements on retailers’ bottom line with industry profitability consultant and fellow BRAIN columnist David De Keyser.
In this third and final installation, I return to dealer fulfillment of D2C bikes and what it may mean in the longer term for retailers, consumers, and the entire specialty retail channel.
Integrating D2C bikes into the brick and mortar marketplace
Let’s begin with three working assumptions:
First, direct-to-consumer is at best a modest segment of IBD-quality bike sales. We covered this back in Part One, and there is a growing body of both confidential and public-source data to confirm it.
Some significant and growing portion of that high-end D2C segment demands professional-quality (which is to say, IBD-quality) prep and assembly. This is true both from the consumer end and — even …read more