Why did the distributor trim prices on 'bread and butter' products? The firm tells all to BikeBiz...

Fisher Outdoors explains price cut strategy

What led Fisher Outdoor Leisure to change prices on its ‘bread and butter’ service and accessory lines?
Mike Cook, Fisher’s sales and marketing director: A combination of factors. Firstly we’re very conscious that the industry in general has undergone significant inflation in the last four years and we wanted to identify certain key areas where we could provide improved value for money for IBDs. Secondly we saw an opportunity to take a category approach and offer a range of really good pricing on everyday bike shop ‘essentials’. And thirdly we didn’t want to lose touch with our heritage because although we sell a wide range of really exciting brands. Fisher grew up as a wholesaler of bread and butter bike products and we wanted to remind our customers that this part of the business is still very important to us.

How do prices compare with those in 2010?
Very favourably indeed. The average saving over the whole Essentials range is over 16 per cent, but some lines have had up to 75 per cent reduced over their previous 2010 best price. Our aim is to continually analyse and compare pricing to ensure IBDs can come to us for all their P&A needs safe in the knowledge that we take value seriously.

Tell us about the Quantity Discount system and how it makes it easy for customers.
One piece of feedback that came from our customers was that our pricing structure was too complicated for these essential products and that customers wanted a simple way to access the best deals. Now the more a customer buys of a particular line the better the price will be and those same prices will be available to everybody. The only exception to this is for tyres and tubes where we have a Mixed Quantity Discount allowing customers to mix and match the products whilst keeping the great savings.

Is it tougher to keep prices low at the moment given the exchange rate?
Clearly there are challenges, but we’re a big, strong, financially solid business and we use our scale to make sure we maximise our buying efficiencies and keep ourselves competitive, whilst also offering our dealers the best possible lines of credit.

Can you tell us a bit about the improvements you’ve made to the B2B site?
We get a lot of positive comments regarding our current B2B website but as part of the commitment to improve our service we are in the process of launching a new site which will provide even greater functionality with market leading search capabilities and account management tools. Many dealers will have had a preview at our Expo and with this feedback we are confident that it will be industry leading. The site will launch in the next few weeks.

And the warehouse management system has been recently enhanced?
Firstly we have been able to extend our cut-off times so that customers have until 4pm to place orders (2pm on a Friday) and still get next day delivery. Secondly our ability to assess stock levels has also been greatly improved, resulting in live stock information. Moving forward we will also be scanning throughout the different functions in the warehouse from goods in, put away, picking and goods out which will make us more accurate from a picking perspective.

Any final message to bike retailers?
Here at Fishers all our staff are committed to improving our customer service to the IBDs. We regularly seek feedback from our customer base and thank those that take the time to participate in our surveys. Through their feedback we make enhancements to our services, from permanent better pricing on bread and butter lines, improving our B2B and growing our sales team to enable all customers access to a dedicated account manager. These are just a few of the improvements we have made and through their continued support we will continue to assess our services and make improvements. We look forward to seeing you all at Cycle Show later this month and we hope you can join us at Expo in February.

Fisher Outdoor Leisure: 01727 798340

In other news...

Pierer Mobility announces intention to sell Felt Bicycles as part of increased focus on e-bikes

Pierer Mobility has announced that it will sell the Felt bicycle brand as it looks …