FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (BRAIN) — Todson president Neal Todrys is apologizing to retailers and reversing course after the company's announcement of a charity giveaway drew the ire of dozens of store owners last week. Todson is canceling a consumer-direct sales program that would have allowed charity ride participants to buy a limited number of Topeak accessories direct from the company at a discount.
"We should have included the IBD network in this promotion. I regret that we didn't do so and am sorry that we alienated a group that is so very important to us," Todrys told BRAIN on Thursday.
Todrys also said the program was much more limited than many dealers assumed from the announcement: The company planned to sell just 100 of the special accessory packages to Bike MS participants.
Retailers who saw the announcement, which mentioned that some 110,000 riders participate in Bike MS events annually, felt left out, to put their response mildly. The announcement on bicycleretailer.com drew dozens of comments, nearly all of them negative, with some dealers vowing to stop selling Topeak products.
Todrys asked BRAIN to share the following letter:
Dear IBD Community,
We recently launched a promotion benefiting Bike MS. In doing so we offered a special "BIKE MS" logo'd kit to the those riders passionately dedicated to eradicating a terrible disease. To be clear, we were offering a limited run of these bags, with just 100 units as part of the promotion. There was some unclear communication on this point and we want to be clear about it so that all details are disclosed. This was a support, rather than sales, gesture. While our motives were good, we now recognize that our approach was wrong. By failing to include the IBD community directly, we made a mistake. I apologize for this.
Our intent was not to go around the IBD and, to that end, we have stopped the direct-to-consumer promotion. Going forward, we will work more diligently with the IBD network to better understand how we can partner to promote cycling. I have reached out to some of you already and feel that there is a positive impact that we can make working collaboratively. An open dialogue can really help us improve on this as it creates the opportunity for mutual understanding.
I appreciate your passion, feedback and grace. Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your ideas. You can reach me at 774.306.3256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neal Todrys, president and CEO, Todson Inc.