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Cyclone Bicycle restructures staff, focuses on exclusive brand partnerships

Published November 28, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Portland-based distributor Cyclone Bicycle has restructured its sales and management staff as the company said it is expanding its focus on exclusive brand partnerships.

Founder and CEO Erik Deeter is now acting as sales manager. Dave Fike, Cyclone's former inventory procurement manager, is assuming the role of product manager and remains the company's chief purchaser. He will also help to direct exclusive partnership development.

Cyclone's former content manager, Üma Kleppinger, will now head up marketing as the brand manager. She will be responsible for marketing, advertising, PR and developing retailer education campaigns.

"Over the past year we've been moving away from a purely margin-driven parts and accessories emphasis to develop strategic partnerships with exclusive brands like our recent arrangement with Cinelli," said Deeter. "Acquiring Action Bicycle in late 2015 was part of this strategy, so while we're announcing the repositioning of the company now, it's been in the works for the past 18 months or so."

The company is currently the exclusive distributor in the Americas for Cinelli bicycles, Exposure Lights, and Knight Composites, and said it plans to announce at least two more exclusives before the New Year.

"The past year brought huge change and big challenges. We bought Action Bicycle in Q4 of 2015, moved our West Coast headquarters and warehouse to expand our capacity, and launched a new website all within the past 12 months," Deeter said. "It hasn't all been smooth sailing, and we've got our work cut out for us, but we're excited for the direction we're moving. To be growing during a down economy is a major win for us, our partners, and our customers."

The company also plans to streamline and consolidate its house brands, while working with vendor partners to develop new and expanded product lines, particularly in the apparel category, he said.

"Like many others who go into business in the bike industry, I love riding bikes, and most of our staff are avid cyclists" said Deeter. "There's something holistic about being able to sell complete bikes that is satisfying to me beyond just making money. The entire staff is fired up about the new direction we are going and we look forward to the new year with great anticipation."

Fred Davidson, Cyclone's CFO, said the restructuring is really more of a repositioning of the company, but won't affect customers who rely on the company for small parts, apparel and accessories. "We'll still provide the everyday consumables our customers expect. We're just adding new categories of premium brands that we'll be able to sell at excellent price points," Davidson said.

Kleppinger said, "Part of the restructuring will be to provide consumer-facing marketing and to help drive consumer demand for our prestige brands. We are working to create campaigns and events that will increase awareness, and ultimately, drive customers to retailers."


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