BikeBiz catches up with Kirsty Woodcock, head of marketing, Specialized UK, winner of Bike Brand of the Year at the 2020 BikeBiz Awards
The past year has presented some challenges for the cycling industry – how did Specialized adapt to the changes?
Delivering for our riders and retail partners has been a constant focus for the entire global business. The phenomenal increase in demand has been incredible to see, but the level of this demand took the industry by surprise.
To allow for an increase in production, we’ve invested with our manufacturing partners to increase capacity. Shipping and logistics remain a challenge across many industries, but we’re adapting wherever possible to find solutions and get products to the UK.
Are there any products that have performed better than others in recent months, and if so, what do you attribute this to?
We’ve seen some fantastic growth across our active and e-bike categories, and unprecedented demand for our aluminium mountain bikes. We believe this to be a mixture of two main things. One, new or returning riders seeking escape or adventure in their local areas during lockdown, and two, people seeking out the bicycle as a transportation alternative.
Specialized won Bike Brand of the Year at the 2020 BikeBiz Awards – what did it mean to win?
It’s incredible to be acknowledged in this way by riders, partners and peers. It was one hell of a year for new product launches with the Tarmac SL7, the Aethos, the Levo SL and an all-new Stumpjumper to name a few! To get the recognition that riders are enjoying the results of so much passion, research, development, refinement and technology is really rewarding for the entire business.
What are your expectations for the year ahead, both for the business and the industry?
Another crazy busy year ahead for us! Our pipeline doesn’t let up, so riders can expect even more new product.
We need to welcome all these new riders to our community and ensure that we keep the momentum on the ‘golden age of cycling’.
Campaigns like #BikeisBest are really helping keep this on everyone’s radars. It’s been amazing to see racing back up and running too – pro feedback on product from their season will no doubt lead to more innovation in the years to come.