IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Shimano is putting more emphasis on one-on-one meetings with its dealers — at its place and theirs — as it reduces its presence on the floor of this fall’s Interbike Expo. The company will no longer have a large booth for Shimano or Pearl Izumi at the Las Vegas show, but it will continue to hold tech clinics in conference rooms off the floor and will have a presence at the OutDoor Demo prior to the indoor expo.
In recent months the company has opened “Business Centers” at Shimano headquarters in California and Pearl Izumi’s headquarters in Colorado. The company invites dealers to visit the centers to get ideas on merchandising and selling the brands’ full product lines.
“As the industry and retail landscape have been changing, we have been listening to our retailers and working to implement new programs and initiatives to better serve their needs. We’re now educating and informing retailers in our own retail environments and theirs,” said Yutaka Taniyama, Shimano’s North American senior vice president. “Our new strategy for Interbike 2014 will maintain a presence for both the Shimano and Pearl Izumi brands, yet allow us to direct more of our time and resources towards investments that will have a more direct impact on the success of bike retailers.”
At Interbike, the company said its presence on the show floor “will be limited to a reception counter for catalog distribution and general business affairs. Pearl Izumi will maintain a dedicated space for its custom apparel business and a small area to showcase its most innovative products.”
Interbike president Pat Hus said, “While we’re disappointed to hear that Shimano and Pearl Izumi will scale back at Interbike this year, we support their decision to invest in new ways to interact with their dealers. … Both brands are extremely important to Interbike and the industry, and we’re pleased that they are continuing to support the show and the retailers that attend.”
Besides the Interbike tech clinics and the Business Centers, Shimano said it is working to improve its relationship with retailers with an expanded program for tech reps who visit bike shops, an expanding S-TEC online staff training program, and new Shimano and Pearl Izumi merchandising programs called “Driving Retail Success.”
Pearl Izumi also will expand its online training program this year.
“We believe interaction with you on a more personal level will be the most effective way to continue to grow our partnership, sales and profit together in the future,” the company said in a letter to dealers Wednesday.