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Factor Bikes resumes consumer-direct sales

Published June 8, 2020
High-end road brand continues sales through IBDs as well.

LINCOLN, Neb. (BRAIN) — Factor Bikes has begun a "hybrid" model of selling direct to consumers and through bike shops in the U.S. The company's U.S. office in Nebraska is handling the direct sales.

Factor offered consumer-direct sales several years ago, when its U.S. office was in California, but ended the program after realizing it was unprepared to handle it at the time, said Jay Thomas, the brand's U.S. manager. 

Thomas said Factor has about 75 dealers in the U.S.; of them about 15% are "active" with the brand. He said the brand's key retailers are OK with resuming consumer sales. 

"We've known that at some point there would be a consumer-direct component to our business," Thomas told BRAIN. "Now it's just trying to figure out how to balance those relationships."

Thomas said Factor will work with local dealers to fulfill consumer-direct orders when appropriate. When there is not a local dealer or when the customer prefers, Factor will ship direct to customers. He noted that Factor sells high-end road bikes, which makes consumer-direct sales different than sales of lower-tier bikes.

"The good thing about these customers is for the most part they are fairly savvy. They've done a lot of shopping and this is not their first $7,000-10,000 bike. They probably have several in the garage already. So we can work through a lot of the fitting questions on chat or we'll just get on the phone with them," he said. "These are not high-volume sales; we can spend time with people if necessary."

Factor bikes are assembled in Taiwan and shipped to consumers in a mostly-assembled state.

Thomas also runs Champion System's North American operations from Lincoln with an office staff shared between the two brands. He said Champion System is doing a significant business selling face masks to health service providers and others.

"We have the manufacturing capacity to make 10,000 masks a week and we continue to get large orders from school districts and others," he said. "It's been an amazing ride; we are continually learning how to work in that market."

The company also has donated masks to Nebraska hospitals and local and regional nonprofits.

Topics associated with this article: Omnichannel

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