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QBP's Salsa Cycles to begin selling through REI

Published June 28, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — Salsa Cycles told its dealers Friday that it plans to begin selling through select REI stores in July. The QBP-owned brand said it will sell model-year 2017 at 11 stores, and will be “starting small.”

According to the letter, obtained by Bicycle Retailer, Salsa bikes and components will be sold in REI stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska; Arcadia and Tustin, California; Denver, Colorado; Washington, DC; Schaumburg, Illinois; Bend, Oregon; St. Louis, Missouri; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. 

“I’m well aware that some dealers will have concerns over this new sales channel, but I believe this will benefit our current and future IBDs,” said Justin Julian, brand manager of Salsa Cycles, in the letter. “This move will dramatically boost awareness of the Salsa brand and create real opportunities for our dealers to demonstrate what bike shops do best: share culture, in-depth knowledge, and passion.

“REI sells the best outdoor brands on the market. This is a tremendous opportunity for Salsa to raise our brand equity and reach a very large, new market of passionate outdoors people,” the letter read. 

REI has a growing member community of more than 6 million, of which 75 percent consider themselves cyclists. It runs 145 stores in 35 states as well as And, as noted by Salsa in its letter, the co-op taught more than 15,000 people the basics of bicycle maintenance last year and more than 20,000 people how to ride a bike. 

Salsa said REI members will not be able to use REI coupons to purchase Salsa bikes and that bikes will be sold at full price. Bikes will be available and sold online, but must be picked up fully assembled at an REI store and only the 11 stocking stores will be allowed to display Salsa bikes on their sales floors. 

“I can assure you, this decision was not made lightly,” the letter said. “Every detail was carefully considered, and I am confident in this move going forward. As a Salsa dealer, you are a critical part of our success. We believe this new channel will truly benefit not just the Salsa brand, but all of our independent bicycle dealers.”

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