This month, BikeBiz catches up Drew Farquharson, head of design and marketing for Moore Large house brand ETC
Can you give us a little background on ETC?
As our name suggests, the ETC brand was born to deliver ‘Everything To Cycling’. We’ve always believed that every ride should be enjoyable, whether that’s your morning commute or your Sunday social. We also know that to enjoy your ride you need to feel comfortable, warm and safe, and it’s on that basis that our ranges have been developed. All our products are designed by, tested and developed by cyclists to make sure they meet every need of our customers, and that stretches from the comfort of the product to the best position of the pockets.
What area(s) of the cycling market does ETC target?
It would be easier to tell you which areas we don’t target! When we started, we aimed to deliver entry-level products that were often considered essential for every bike store. Although we still offer these in our essentials line, we have now branched out and put a lot of time and focus into our product development. We truly want to be everything to cycling, and we aim to offer high-quality products for every discipline at every price point, from the commuters and leisure cyclists to the road cyclists and MTB riders.
Over the past year, we have added the following categories and have positioned them right in the mid-end of the market: lighting, helmets, gloves, cycling and casual apparel, shoes, eyewear, luggage and panniers, locks, pumps, chains and wheels. Make sure you take a look at these ranges, these products offer the technologies and features that our rivals have at much higher price points.
What makes ETC unique? What does it offer that its competitors perhaps do not?
High-quality products, at low price points with high dealer margin. Being the house brand of Moore Large, we have heaps of industry experience and knowledge and that has allowed us to access some of the best-priced suppliers and ensure the highest dealer margins possible.
Working out of Moore Large’s HQ in Derby, we are also very fortunate to have a lot of riders in the office from World Cup downhill racers to ex shop owners, giving us access to expert knowledge and insight on all of our products. This combination means that we can offer a huge range of products and I’d go as far to say that our lighting range this year is the most comprehensive on the UK market, with product RRPs from £5 to £140 and even a HD camera light being thrown in the mix.
In a rather bizarre twist of fate, COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the cycling industry. What impact has it had on ETC?
Really bizarre, I think everyone in the industry would agree that it has been an incredible boost, but at the same time, it has caused a lot of challenges in the industry. Fortunately for ETC, as one of Moore Large’s house brands, we get the benefit that Moore Large is completely independent meaning we are not tied into or owned by any global supply chains. This essentially means that we have been able to adapt and work with the situation instead of against it.
That said, like many other companies, it hasn’t been seamless but our team has been working tirelessly and has managed to source stock from every corner of the world. We have worked extremely hard to ensure all our customers stay stocked up and have the support and products they need to meet the current demand.
Moore Large currently distributes ETC throughout the UK. How important is that relationship to the brand’s success?
I think having a good relationship with the distributor is always key, it can offer expert support and knowledge to brands and stores and help keep them running. Fortunately for us, ETC is Moore Large’s house brand so we are in total control of the direction it takes and allows us to react swiftly to any changes needed to keep us competitive and relevant to the market.
What are some of your more recent product developments?
We currently have exciting new products coming in left, right and centre. Our current focus has been heavily focused on the commuter market with a wide range of clothing and accessories developed and tested by cyclists. However, sticking to our brand, we continue to develop products for all disciplines. This includes leisure, MTB, road and of course new cyclists. Not just the essentials though, we want to offer all levels of products and be a real competitor in the mid-end market. We will continue to stock our essentials but it’s our latest ranges of clothing, lighting, luggage and apparel that we are most excited about.
What sort of feedback have you received?
All very positive, we are fortunate enough to have an office full of cyclists. Our combined knowledge and experience mean that everything we produce is tested and developed with cyclists in mind. Both from consumers and trade customers, feedback tends to focus on the great quality at an awesome price.
What industry innovations are exciting you at the moment?
The industry is really alive at the moment and offering so much, which is great. For us, the rise of the e-bike is really exciting and helping to encourage more and more people to take up cycling. As you mentioned earlier, in a really strange twist of fate the pandemic has seemed to have sparked a love of cycling for many and produced a wave of new cyclists. I think as an industry we need to make sure that we can provide the right products and information to keep them cycling long after the pandemic has passed.
What are your plans for 2021 and beyond?
Make riding safe, comfortable and inclusive for all. We’ve put a lot of investment into ETC recently, not just in product, but in marketing and sales too. We want to take ETC to the next level and make sure we continue to offer great quality products at an awesome price.