2021 has undoubtedly been an unorthodox year, with independents, brands and distributors alike feeling the inevitable effects of a turbulent period for businesses the world over. BikeBiz catches up with several UK distributors to reflect on a bizarre yet successful period for the cycling industry.
Today, we hear from Lea Adams, CEO, Greyville Enterprises
Somewhat of a rollercoaster with its fair share of highs and lows! On a positive note, we have enjoyed stellar demand for our products and brands, of course the challenges have been rising freight costs, shortages on our import orders and staff shortages at times with the pingdemic.
We have managed our way through these challenges to the best of our ability and are projecting a 100% increase in sales turnover year-on-year. [Earlier this year], we launched our new website and online ordering system along with new warehouse management software to ensure we can now scale the business, streamlining our processes and using the new IT infrastructure to accelerate our growth.
We are still facing challenges within areas like the courier delivery service network underperforming due to their own challenges with rising demand, driver shortages, rising costs plus limited stock availability from our core brands.
We have recently become a distributor for Clarks brakes and wheels, these are an excellent quality brand with a great reputation. We decided we needed an alternative to Acor that was price competitive and top quality, we now have a good choice of all brake parts within the two brands.
We have added Skorpion bikes to our portfolio and have an excellent range of kids bikes and adult hybrids which have been well received by the trade, as we are keen to develop a solid range of bikes that can fill gaps in the retail market for our trade customers. We continue to stock and import for Suntour, Schwalbe, Sunrace, Stronglight and Rixen and Kaul and we have seen strong demand throughout 2021 for these core brands. We will be adding a new electric bike range next year and will be stocking the spares required to support our dealer network.
Behind the scenes
The major change happened last year with Alan Pritchard retiring and selling the business to me, throughout 2021 we have been restructuring and transforming the business with new IT infrastructure to streamline the warehouse operations and ordering system.
These changes were necessary to allow us to realise our growth expectations, we have been in negotiations with other major brands to add to our portfolio whilst widening the range we hold with each of our core brands. Our new systems [went] live on October 4th so watch out for the start of our transformation!
A post-COVID world
We are already seeing a normalisation to pre-pandemic orders in some areas of the business, however with current stock shortages for many parts the demand remains high and back-orders at record levels.
After speaking to our major brands, we don’t see the growth reducing overall and stock shortages will continue throughout 2022. The push for a reduction in emissions and the investment in better cycle paths as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy will also support the sector going forward.
We have been listening to feedback from our IBDs and working hard to get the imports of stock over as quickly as possible and into their shops. We have made decisions to widen our range and hold greater stock levels for our core brands and have already put in our forward orders with Schwalbe and Suntour for 2022, doubling our stock levels to alleviate the challenges in the market.
2022 and beyond
We will continue with our structured growth, expanding our range and holding higher levels of stock to better support our IBDs. We will be adding a range of quality electric bikes to our portfolio in 2022 along with supporting the IBDs with parts for most electric bikes.
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