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New BRAIN issue features a look at Italy's industry, new online sales programs

Published August 30, 2016

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The newest Bicycle Retailer & Industry News issue — arriving in mailboxes and being distributed at Eurobike this week — features a look at Italy's bicycle industry, including a trend of some manufacturers, like sunglass and helmet brand SH+, to return manufacturing to Italy after a few years of experiementing with Asian production. BRAIN's Val Vanderpool reports that SH+ found it could better differentiate its brand from the competition if it designed and built its products locally. And the company found an ample supply of vendors and workers near its headquarters.

The new BRAIN issue also includes a look at the online sales strategies being developed by two major brands. BRAIN's Lynette Carpiet reports that at dealer events this summer, Specialized and Cannondale revealed their response to online sales programs from Trek, Giant, Raleigh and others. Specialized is making an effort to gather retailer inventory data to facilitate national online sales promotions. The company will allow its participating dealers to sell its accessories and parts, but not bikes, online. Dorel's Cannondale brand, meanwhile, will not begin online bike sales. The company said it still sees more potential upside in sales through brick-and-mortar locations.

BRAIN's Matt Wiebe takes a look at the latest wholesale inventory and sales figures released by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. The figures show that supplier bike shipments to retailers contracted 6 percent in units and 5 percent in dollars in the first half of the year. Wholesale sales of most bike categories declined, with the exception of e-bikes. On the upside, suppliers were getting their inventory in hand. Inventory at the end of June was still 9 percent higher than a year prior, but that's a big improvement over the levels seen a few months earlier, when they were 40 percent up over prior year.

These highlights are in addition to regular BRAIN departments like State of Retail, Global Briefs, Mad Dog Unleashed, Tech Briefs and Through the Grapevine that are only published in the magazine. BRAIN is published 18 times each year and is available in print and electronic formats. For information on subscribing, visit our subscription page.
 

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