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BikeCo's Frank Zimmer: 'It will be June of 2021 before we’re fully back on track.'

Published October 9, 2020
Part 2 of BRAIN's Crystal Ball series.

Editor's note: For a feature in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Retail Editor Ray Keener spoke with 14 leaders on the supplier side of the industry. Ray spoke with leaders of major bike brands, component suppliers, e-bike startups, accessory makers and more. We will be running sections of that article online this month.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — It’s been a hectic and unprecedented several months for our industry and many others. Fortunately for our companies and retailers, hectic has meant managing demand rather than fighting for survival.

Now that the season is waning, inventories are catching up (in some cases) and suppliers are catching their collective breaths, we reached out to a cross-section of suppliers and service providers to get their take on the future.

Frank Zimmer, President, BikeCo, the distributor of Fuji, SE Racing, Breezer and Tuesday Cycles.

We began to prepare for factory slowdowns, delayed (factory) reopenings and reduced outputs in January and February of 2020. We are starting to see inventory build up in our warehouses now from that planning. 

We are still running into capacity and component shortage issues. It looks like it will be June of 2021 before we’re fully back on track. Fortunately, we are in a strong financial position to allow us the opportunity to continue to grow. We have key brands that are very active during the holiday selling season which keeps our cash flow in a good position for the early part of 2021.

Many dealers are just taking an educated guess on planning for Q4 2020 but many have prepared by taking a big position on holiday inventory. Most of our incoming stock for the remainder of the year is on allocation or committed but we continue to find areas to improve delivery timing to satisfy more of our customer base. 

A fortunate part of the rise in demand was that customers were happy buying up. The entry-level business has always been strong, but we are starting to see increases in areas like full-suspension MTB as well as e-MTB this season. 

With the uncertainty of the tariffs, we have continued to diversify where we produce. Taiwan is becoming more and more important for manufacturing as it helps to remove some of the uncertainty. 

Frank Zimmer
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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