January 2015

Issue Highlights: 
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — It's been 12 months since Shimano American overhauled its U.S. distribution, cutting its roster of U.S. distributors and emphasizing its own dealer direct sales. The company said the change has been a success, but some retailers say they are disappointed the move has not apparently curbed the online discounting of Shimano products to consumers.

In the Jan. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Matt Wiebe takes a look at Shimano's distribution and the reaction to the changes from retailers and distributors. Ultimately, a Shimano executive said the company has little control over the retail pricing of its products, in part because of varying trade regulations in international markets.

"Unfortunately retail is competitive and is quickly becoming even more competitive," Jeff Young, Shimano American's vice president of sales, said in the article. "But retailers can't expect Shimano to control pricing. ... We just can't do that."

Besides the look at Shimano's distribution, the first BRAIN issue of 2015 contains the magazine's annual Industry Directory, the 2015 Sales Training Guide, part 1 of a two-part article on the state of cycling media, and a look at the cycling industry in Quebec.

The Sales Training Guide is an advertiser-supported section containing valuable tech and sales information from more than 30 brands. Whether your store sells each brand or not, the Guide will provide retail salespeople with important tips and information to help them do their jobs. The Industry Directory, mailed along with the Jan. 1 issue as a separate publication, contains contact information for hundreds of bike industry companies. The directory serves a handy resource for suppliers and retailers alike. This year's directory was compiled in collaboration with PeopleForBikes.

The first part of BRAIN's look at the cycling media focuses on print, including a chart showing the relative circulation and advertising costs for more than 20 bike magazines sold in the U.S. And we look at how Bicycling sometimes struggles to attract advertisers from within the bike industry, even though its reach dwarfs its competitors', and — on a dollar-per-reader basis — its advertising rates are often a better deal. Part 2 of BRAIN's look at the cycling media, focused on web sites and other electronic media, will be published in the Feb. 1 issue.

BRAIN's editor Lynette Carpiet journeyed to Quebec late last year to report on the region's vital cycling industry. Carpiet reports on brands including Devinci, Opus, Guru, Louis Garneau and Argon 18 and how international economic trends affect their decisions about where to manufacture and sell their goods.

Also in the Jan. 1 issue:

  • The year in review: the top stories that made headlines in 2014
  • In Memoriam: Remembering industry members lost last year
  • Fox's purchase of Easton and Race Face.
  • New rear hub spacing standards, driven by new wheel sizes and fat bikes.
  • Mavic's move from Massachusetts to Utah
  • VELOTV provides retailers with their own video network
  • Chicago retailers revive the CABDA trade show.

To subscribe to the print or digital edition of the magazine, visit BRAIN's subscription page.