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BR&IN's 2011 Year in Review, Part 2

Published December 29, 2011

Editor's note: The following article appears in the January issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (Subscribe!). Part 1, covering news from January through June, was published here yesterday.

July
More suppliers bring aero road bikes to market, validating the subcategory of bikes as a legitimate segment fueling road sales.
Thule Group adds bike trailers and child carriers to its product portfolio with the acquisition of Chariot Carriers of Calgary.
• Dahon founder’s son and estranged wife Joshua Hon and Florence Shen start competing folding bike company Tern, leaving the family-owned company they helped run for years. The move sparks a legal battle between both companies for intellectual property rights and trademarks in various markets.
Shimano trickles down its electronic technology to Ultegra. Retailers predict that, at half the cost of Dura-Ace Di2, it will eat away at sales of comparably priced mechanical Dura-Ace.

August
Rival BMX race sanctioning groups unite as the American Bicycle Association acquires the foundering National Bicycle League. The merger should boost overall race participation and membership.
New doping allegations against Lance Armstrong surface in mainstream media as ex-teammate Tyler Hamilton admits he used performance-enhancing drugs.
UCI plans to expand its labeling program beyond frames and forks by 2012. It seeks to certify other bike components used at professional and amateur races after the London Olympics.
Move Press launches a third title. Switchback is aimed at the dirt segment.
California passes a new tax law that will force out-of-state online retailers to collect and pay sales tax from goods purchased by state residents. State officials expect to raise $317 million per year. The new regulation should help level the playing field between storefront operations and online sellers in terms of pricing.
Bike Expo moves from late July to mid-August, just before rival German show Eurobike, and changes its name to ISPO Bike.
Veltec Sports closes its doors after nearly three decades of distributing product in the U.S. market, blaming declines in revenue, changes in management and loss of market-leading brands.
A new lead limit for children’s bikes goes into effect. The 100-parts-per-million limit is the third reduction over the past three years as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Third-party testing to meet the new standard is not required until the end of the year.
• Retailers see drop-off in rental business as bike share programs take off in major U.S. cities.

September
Easton-Bell Sports sues Specialized in California superior court, alleging that it engaged in unfair business practices when it forced some dealers to stop carrying its Giro cycling shoes. Easton-Bell dropped the suit two months later, citing legal costs and territorial limitations of state courts.
Lead times lengthen as product gains complexity and OE suppliers take a cautious approach to inventory in an uncertain economy.
• Accell, Mavic, Shimano, Cycling Sports Group and Fox Racing Shox post financial gains for the first half of the year.
• Trek partners with Smart Etailing to make more of its inventory available on retailers’ websites. Trek will also fulfill orders placed on retailers’ websites by shipping directly to them or to consumers. Quality Bicycle Products follows soon after, offering a similar online selling strategy.
Dutch Pon Holdings and Germany’s Derby Cycle agree on an acquisition deal, avoiding a potential hostile takeover of Derby by Accell Group. Pon will pay 28 euros per share for the company. Accell Group later sold its 22 percent share in Derby to Pon, collecting a 17 million euro profit on its five-month investment.

October
Fox Racing Shox’s parent company buys CamelBak for $257 million. As part of the deal, Compass Diversified Holdings gains an 89.9 percent stake in the pack company.
The concept store model grows in Canada as Norco opens its first branded store in that market and reveals plans to grow the number of Norco Partnership Stores there and in nearby U.S. markets.
• Online retailer Backcountry.com acquires Arkansas-based CompetitiveCyclist.com, anticipating an explosion in online bike sales from major suppliers.

November
Swobo re-emerges from a brief hiatus under new leadership. The brand moves to Fort Collins, Colorado, as Santa Cruz Bicycles signs a two-year licensing agreement with three entrepreneurs who plan to re-energize the urban bike brand.
Brands step up efforts to shut down sales of counterfeit products, a growing problem resulting from the rise of online sales and the increased competency in working with carbon fiber in Asian factories.
Campagnolo launches long-anticipated electronic road group to global media in Super Record and Record versions. At least four European brands plan to spec the 11-speed Electronic Power Shift system on 2013 road bike models.
The European Union renews the 48.5 percent anti-dumping duties on bikes imported from China for five years following a year-long review that found EU manufacturers would be threatened if the duties were lifted.

December
Orbea USA says it will sell its bikes on its own website, select online retailers and a few brick-and-mortar stores with websites as part of a new e-commerce strategy designed to compete against brands that command more retail floor space.
Eyeing growth in Latin America, European and U.S. bike brands set up offices in major cities there. But entering those new markets is challenging due to complex duty structures, regulations and shipping and delivery logistics.
European private equity firm Bridgepoint acquires online UK retailer Wiggle for 180 British pounds ($282.5 million). Wiggle earned 88 million pounds ($138.2 million) in revenue last year.

Topics associated with this article: BRAIN News

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