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Consumer-direct brand YT Industries setting up US service centers

Published April 29, 2015
Consumer-direct brand signing up IBDs to assemble, service and repair bikes.

RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — YT Industries is looking for shops to assemble, repair and provide regular maintenance for its line of mountain bikes in the U.S. The German bike brand began selling direct to consumers through its website earlier this year and now is reaching out to retailers interested in becoming YT Service Centers.

Freerider Cam Zink, who's heading up the U.S. franchise for YT along with his brother, said he's still working out the details of the program. For example, how would bike assembly be covered. The bike shop's assembly price could be split between YT and the consumer, for example.

But shops that sign up as service centers would be listed on YT's U.S. website and consumers who buy online would be referred to their closest service center for any repairs or bike assembly.

"It may include a free yearly tune-up for customers, or if a customer has a warranty problem, we would pay the shop to take the bike apart and ship it back to us so the customer wouldn't have to," said Zink.

Zink says the shops wouldn't carry any complete bikes from YT, but could stock items like YT-branded T-shirts or derailleur hangers. YT would send participating dealers service manuals and information on the bikes.

"We got the idea from YT's New Zealand and Australian franchisee," Zink said. "But he's shipping consumer orders to shops. We're not."

Zink said the goal is to eventually, as a customer buys a bike online, the closest YT service center to the purchase address would be printed on the order.

"We don't have that capability just yet, but hopefully soon," he said. "It's something that's needed," Zink added about service shops. "Consumer direct is here and it's going to stay. It's a good step to keep shops involved and as part of the process."

Travis Lucas is manager of Sagebrush Cycles in Bend, Ore., one of the first shops that have signed on with YT as a service center. Lucas, who's known Zink for a long time, said he was approached by Zink before he had the chance to approach him about it. Sagebrusch Cycles carries bikes from Pivot, Rocky Mountain, BH and Felt, among others.

"Online sales are going up," Lucas said. "A lot of people can't finish the assembly of a bike they bought online so they bring them in. And the parts, when they break, we'll be fixing them. Everyone needs a bike shop to call their home. And a lot of our customers are already interested in YT. Zink's also a good friend and we want to be there to help him."

Retailers can email Zink at info@ytindustries-usa.com or call (775) 250-7087 if they're interested in applying.

Topics associated with this article: Omnichannel

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