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Specialized pushes US retail event to fall in 2017

Published December 20, 2016

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — In a letter emailed to U.S. and U.K. dealers on Monday, Specialized announced that it's moving its model year 2018 retailer event to September 2017. The letter, titled "timing is everything," said that the change was made to "better align our brand with your commercial needs in order to achieve success in model year '18."

Specialized has held its summer dealer event in July in recent years.

"We have heard your feedback loud and clear and agree that the early season retailer event race does not align with your needs at retail," Jeff McGuane, Specialized's USA market leader, wrote in the letter.  "In order to meet rider expectations, deliver a timely product spectrum, as well as reduce your time away from your stores during the busy month of July, we have decided to make a change."

In the letter the company thanked its retailers for their support and hailed the positive response from riders to new bike model platforms of Roubaix, Ruby, Enduro and Turbo Levo.

In an email to BRAIN a company spokesperson said that this change in retailer event dates is a global update and that products will be launched when it is best for the rider. "New products will be rolled out prior to retailer event when it is seasonally appropriate, based on overall product in the pipeline," this person said. 

Specialized was among several companies, including Trek and Giant, that traditionally hosted dealers for an annual launch of new model year during the summer, before the annual Interbike trade show in September in Las Vegas. The past few years, Specialized dealers were invited to its headquarters in Morgan Hill, California, about an hour south of San Francisco.

Other brands including Scott, Felt, Kona, Santa Cruz and Raleigh have also hosted dealer gatherings for their top retailers in the months leading up to the show in recent years. The growing number of dealer events in the busy summer selling season has stifled retailer attendance at the Eurobike and Interbike fall trade shows, which haven't budged their dates despite earlier product introductions.

But Eurobike pointed to a fragmented industry and summer dealer events as a reason for why organizers are moving the show to early July in 2018. And Interbike is conducting a survey to determine the timing and location of future shows.

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