Today marks the one year anniversary of Dorel’s purchase of family business Hot Wheels of Poole. Here, in his own words, is how Russell Merry sees the year gone by…
By Russell Merry, joint-MD, CSG UK
What a year! The Cycling Sports Group is one year old on 1st October 2010. It has been a fast paced ride that could, at times, have been likened to a rollercoaster.
The Cycling Sports Group UK was formed by the purchase of family business Hot Wheels International by Dorel Industries Inc of Canada.
This transaction took place, in part, so that Dorel could control its own route to market in the UK, which is seen as an important territory in the global bicycle business. A second objective of the acquisition was to improve the distribution of the Dorel owned brand Cannondale which, despite having outstanding product, was not realising its full potential in the UK.
When CSGuk was formed the we told our staff, customers and suppliers that the intention was to take the ‘best bits’ from the small entrepreneurial family business (Hot Wheels) and add the ‘best bits’ from the global corporation and that is what they are trying to deliver. CSGuk believes that combination of strengths with their powerful portfolio of brands should see them become a major force in bicycle/parts distribution in the UK in the years ahead.
There has been significant change as they have grown and there is more to come. CSG’s first year of sales will show around 50 per cent growth over the last year of Hot Wheels with sales well in excess of £20 million.
In order to achieve this growth CSGuk has increased the stock holding/purchases and, in recent months, added Cannondale. CSGuk have increased its office based staff and recruited a new telesales team.
Neil Merry (Joint-MD) believes that the strong team of competent staff is the key to the first year success. This is the strongest line up of staff we have ever had. From the warehouse to accounts we have committed and capable individuals that form a great team. Our graphics team do some cool stuff and finance make sure we are dotting the I’s and crossing t’s.
The recent ‘Ride the Revolution Trade Show’ held at CSG HQ in Poole was an opportunity for CSG to showcase our new brand portfolio to its customers. The event was a huge success seeing 225 dealership attended (approx 400 people) and 26 members of the press representing 16 titles/websites.
CSGuk will sell in excess of 100,000 bikes this year and they have recently changed logistics partners in order to improve efficiency. Amethyst Group will unload containers by night and despatch by day, working round the clock means more capacity to despatch at peak times.
Cycling Sports Group has been shortlisted in the category of Bicycle Distributor of the Year and also Dave Page has been shortlisted in the category for Retail Account Manager of the Year which is a testament to the ‘flying start’ the company has made.
CSGuk will continue to remember and respect its roots, as well as look to grow its portfolio of products that it distributes having recently added distribution of Radio Bikes, a brand created by the talent behind Wethepeople.
In the last year Charge has grown its distributor business and launched the 2011 line of bikes at Eurobike to great acclaim. The Charge brand continues to be run from the UK and the team will be looking to take the brand to new heights.
Starting in 2010 Xposure, formerly a Hot Wheels owned brand, has become globally distributed and can now be found in UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Greece.