OGDEN, UT (BRAIN)—While much smaller than its annual Frostbike gathering at its Bloomington, Minnesota, distribution center, vendors who set up booths inside Quality Bicycle Products’ new Ogden warehouse yesterday said it offered a captive and high-quality audience.
“It’s small but QBP did a good job to bring the right dealers,” said Jake Pantone, marketing manager of Enve Composites. “There are a lot of heavy hitters.”
QBP invited a select group of dealers and vendors to its 113,500-square-foot Q-West warehouse. More than 100 of QBP’s top retailers flew to Salt Lake City to attend the inaugural Saddle Drive. Another 30 or so drove in from surrounding areas.
They got to see product from 40 of QBP’s top vendors, sit in on a few business seminars and tour the LEED gold-certified building during a one-day expo. Vendors began packing up their products around 4 p.m. Most are heading up to nearby Park City to set up at DealerCamp, which begins Tuesday.
QBP will shuttle retailers to Snow Basin today where they will demo bikes mostly from its house brands including All-City, Civia, Salsa and Surly on Wasatch Range roads and trails.
“This event has a significant focus on riding,” said Todd Cravens, director of dealer service and development for QBP. “But dealers are also seeing cool things for the first time. Shimano’s showing its Ultegra Di2 group here.”
QBP began shipping products out of the new facility in January. It currently stocks some 14,500 SKUs and employs 75 people—30 seasonal and 45 full-time.
Director of distribution Kim Brown said QBP is applying for LEED platinum certification, the highest green building rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Among the facility’s many environmental features are its geothermal heating and cooling system and solar roof panels. QBP also used eco-friendly composite made from recycled plastics on a mezzanine deck where it racks its small parts.
The two-story building and land was an $8 million investment, Brown said. Unlike its Minnesota warehouse, it uses fewer conveyor belts and emphasizes more picking by cart. Overall, this is a more versatile system. It also lets QBP to change the layout at a lower cost, she said.
Once its East Coast facility in Middletown, Pennsylvania, is up and running later this year—QBP is aiming for it to be operational by December—Brown said ground shipments will reach 95 percent of its customers within 1 to 2 days via its three warehouses.