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Changes at Pacenti Cycle Design as Kirk Pacenti moves on, brand shifts to dealer direct sales

Published October 22, 2018

EXETER, United Kingdom (BRAIN) — Kirk Pacenti, the founder of Pacenti Cycle Design, is stepping away from his namesake company as Luke Humphreys, who invested in the company last year, takes over as acting CEO.

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Kirk Pacenti had moved into a product development role following the investment. "I'd just like to say 'thank you' for all the support I have received over the years from our valued customers," Pacenti told BRAIN. "We achieved some really great things as a small company, and they were the ones that made it all possible."

Humphreys, a veteran of the U.K. industry, said he expects to remain the brand's CEO for the foreseeable future. Co-owners Matt Wiessler and Duncan Lloyd also remain with the brand, which is now based in the U.K.

Humphreys said the brand will continue to develop innovative products and is moving toward dealer direct sales in the U.S. and Europe, ending the use of distributors.

By cutting out distributors, Pacenti was able to lower retail prices recently while maintaining or increasing dealer margins, Humphreys told BRAIN.

"When we used distributors, to keep price parity we had to hold retail prices higher than where the market sits. We are restructuring to be more in line with the market," Humphreys said.

"Now we are selling what used to be a $600 wheel for $400, and our customers can still make a good living," he said.

Pacenti is working with an industry partner in the U.S. to handle fulfillment to U.S. dealers. He said the operation is set up to handle small dealer orders. The company added a B2B wholesale ordering system to its website last year. It's transitioning to dealer direct sales in the U.K. this fall. 

"We are not trying to load up dealers with volume discounts. We expect our customers will be ordering one wheelset one day, and maybe a rim tomorrow or the next week. We are very much a single-price structure business. We want to service stores and we understand their cash constraints, ... I grew up in retail and they are still close to my heart," he said.

The brand also sells consumer direct via its website. Although Pacenti is not pursuing sales through major internet retailers, bike shops are allowed to sell online under the brand's minimum advertised price policy.

Pacenti is known as a pioneer in the use of 650b mountain bike wheels as well as wider aluminum rims offroad. Humphreys said Pacenti's Forza carbon road wheels have been a success, as have been its P-Dent mountain bike handlebars. He said the brand will continue to develop products that are ahead of the curve.

"We are pushing harder than we have in a long time on new products. We have new aluminum rims, new disc rims and we are bringing back mountain bike rums, which have been off the market for a while. ... We want to get back to where we are setting trends and leading the industry. The market caught up with what Kirk did a few years ago so now we've got to step out front again.

More information on Pacenti Cycle Design at pacenticycledesign.com

Kirk Pacenti can be reached at kirk.pacenti@outlook.com.

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