BikeBiz speaks to Bob Elliot on its silver anniversary...

COMPANY PROFILE: Bob Elliot and Co

You have been in business for 25 years – any highlights?
The business has been growing gradually, but over the last few years we have seen dramatic growth. The company launched a new colour catalogue in 2008, which coincided with a move of premises to double our floor space.

Looking back – this is probably our biggest highlight as it completed a five-year plan we had put in place earlier in the decade.

Do you anticipate any growth in the next year?
Business has been very good and we anticipate a further growth next year with our ever-expanding range. We have introduced about eight new brands through 2009 and they are all carrying forward into 2010 with our settled range, so we expect to have good stocks and an increase in business again.

You picked up Lazer back in January; how important has this addition to your portfolio turned out to be?
Lazer was a major coup for us and in the last 12 months we have started our partnership very well. We aim to continue this growth through 2010 with Lazer launching its brand new Helium race helmet (used in the Tour de France with Team Katusha), its brand new Tardiz time trial helmet and also the brand’s new Nirvana top-end MTB helmet.

Which sectors are you seeing particular growth within?
There are very few product areas in our portfolio that haven’t seen a decent increase throughout the last 12 months.

Though, I would have to say our main growth area has come with the introduction of the new brands we have taken on, coupled with the increase we have seen within ranges, such as Science In Sport and particularly Schwalbe.

Any plans for expansion in the works?
We have some underlying plans to continue our growth by possibly increasing our workforce, increasing our floor space internally and by taking on one or two brands. One of which we have in the pipeline for 2010 and will be introduced gradually through the year.

How busy we are will determine whether more staff members will be taken on, but we are certainly open to the idea of more staff if necessary.

Is there a reason for the number of UK manufactured brands within the catalogue?
As part of our start-up we dealt with many UK manufacturers. Several of these have been working together with us for many years now and we have no reason to change. We would like to support the UK manufacturers as best we can and the quality of product and the prices are still good enough to be able to offer retailers a good margin and a reliable product.

How can retailers open a trade account with Bob Elliot and Co?
Retailers can contact us by all means – telephone, email or fax. If they have retail premises and are operating as a cycle shop their details are passed onto the sales representative for their area and the ball is rolling. The customer must place a carriage paid order for their first order and until references are returned – the customer will be trading with us as a pro-forma account.

TEL: 01772 459 887

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