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Santini's Steve Medcroft: 'Lifts in demand are happening at all levels.'

Published October 22, 2020
Part 11 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.

Steve Medcroft, Managing Partner, Santini

My guess is that this boost we're seeing will be more like the "Lance Effect": Bring new people to cycling and a decent percentage will stick with us after the reason for them to take up cycling has gone. The longer people ride, the more likely they will become lifelong participants.

Our day-to-day business activity has changed. We see a healthy online business and lots of new customers to hopefully make a good impression on. Our growth is coming right across our lines — lifts in demand are happening at all levels in our collections evenly.

We've transitioned to online and phone interactions with dealers. We ship samples when requested now, rather than travel in person. We've re-focused our marketing outreach and work processes on making these remote interactions a good experience.

The timing of apparel commitments is different now. We're not asking for six-to-eight month pre-orders. We focus more on short-turnaround production and now ask for pre-orders only four or five weeks ahead of the release dates for new collections.

We also had to change the timing of collections, delaying some releases tied to events that were no longer happening, and releasing an off-road collection earlier than planned to support high demand online.

We run our own factory in Italy, so the supply chain is operating well. Except for a two-week period early in the pandemic when all businesses needed to close, we've been able to operate at normal timelines and deliver product reliably.

Steve Medcroft.
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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