Industry execs are scratching their heads as to why so few IBDs turned up at the BAGB’s Harrogate show (see the bulletin board for some of the reasons). But divisions within the trade play their part said the MD of one of the largest players in the UK cycle market, a company which spent £45 000 on exhibiting at ICC.
He was livid when told by some show visitors that they had to also attend "the Falcon house show" that same weekend.
"Falcon have shafted this show," said the MD.
However, Falcon MD Steven Bell was stung by the suggestion Falcon – a BAGB member – was seeking to destabilise the BAGB show.
"We finished building a new onsite showroom in early May and have been urging our current customers to come and visit since then. Many of them decided that they would make the trip and take in Harrogate at the same time.
"We have not done it before because we haven’t previously had facilities that we could invite a number of customers at the same time to visit. Our previous showroom was very small in an off-site lockup!
"[We were] deliberately very low profile with it because I didn’t want to be seen
as ‘piggy-backing’ the show.
"Very pleased with the number of visitors who have been arriving since last week, they all got a factory tour and a special preview of our new Falcon Junior range, new Redline range and a peak at our new range called Shogun.
"At least 20 percent of dealers who visited in the last couple of days had no intention of going to Harrogate. Our preview was only notified to our existing customer base and I believe, probably did the Harrogate attendances some good, as a lot of people I spoke to felt that our activity ‘tipped the balance’ for them and encouraged them to make the long
"I cant believe that anything we have done could possibly be construed as ‘shafting’ the show. We made it clear last year that we wouldn’t be attending and have never changed our minds, unlike some other large manufacturers."