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QBP and TPC make staff reductions

Published July 13, 2023
Updated with TPC news.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — Distributor Quality Bicycle Products and retailer The Pro's Closet each announced workforce reductions this week. Each cited the industry's inventory challenges as a cause.

QBP said it reduced its workforce by 5% on Wednesday. The distributor said the layoffs affected multiple departments at the company's U.S. facilities and its U.S. and Canadian distribution centers remain open and fully operational. 

QBP laid off about 50 employees last September. It also recently closed its mechanic school in Colorado, which caused about three layoffs. 

The company said the latest layoffs were the result of industry over-inventory. 

"This was a painful decision that impacts talented teammates and friends who made meaningful contributions to QBP," said Rich Tauer, president, QBP. "This is extremely difficult for everyone involved."

Tauer said the layoffs were necessary "to stay agile amid current market conditions."

"As the largest distributor of bicycle products in North America, we are impacted by an industry that is still searching for balance between supply and demand. Currently, there's just too much surplus inventory," said Tauer. "While painful, our workforce reduction was a necessary step to ensure our business remains stable and poised for future growth while delivering the highest level of service to our retailer and supplier partners, and to consumers of our proprietary brands."

QBP, which is a certified B Corporation, distributes its third party brands and its proprietary brands, which include Salsa Cycles, Surly Bikes, All-City Cycles, 45NRTH, Teravail, Whisky Parts Co., and MSW.

"Q and our family of brands will continue riding towards our stated purpose of advancing the experience of bicycling for the wellbeing of people and our planet," said Tauer. "And we remain dedicated to our vision to get Every Butt on a Bike."

TPC layoffs

On Thursday The Pro's Closet, a Colorado-based retailer of used and new bikes, confirmed that it made workforce reductions. The company declined to say how many employees or what percentage of staff was affected.

"The unprecedented amount of discounted, new bike inventory in the market poses a particular challenge for our business model. With that, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staff to ensure the financial health of the business in the current economic climate," said TPC's general manager, Paul Calandrella.

"I can't say enough about the resiliency of the TPC team and their commitment to continue to drive the business. Their efforts shine through in the many areas of our business that are thriving, including record growth in our parts, accessories and apparel categories; and our on-site retail store. We remain as committed as ever to creating a premium experience for our growing number of new and returning customers."

BRAIN editors are aware of several other significant layoffs in the U.S. industry in recent weeks. We are working to confirm those.

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