New staff, new vans, new website and more

Hotlines’ growing pains to force third HQ move

With 42 brands now under its portfolio, Hotlines is facing a third office move in three years.

Citing both a substantial investment in stock holding and the appointment of several staff members since Illy Anastasi took the reins in 2007, the distributor
is now hoping to make a move to a new, much larger office in South Queensferry within the next few months.

General manager Anastasi told BikeBiz: "When we moved to the current premises in South Queensferry we expected it to be more than large enough for the next five years. Though, as it stands, our character-filled office by the harbour has turned out to be a little small. We’re hoping to make a move to a new, much larger, office in South Queensferry in the next few months and this time it really should be big enough for a few years.

"Our growth has also seen staff taken on at a fantastic rate, with seven customer support people on the phone now and four account managers on the road. In the last month alone we’ve doubled the number of reps and taken on another member of staff in the office. We’re keen to ensure that as we grow, we also further our ability to handle the increased business that comes with it."

Anticipating further growth, Hotlines has focused plenty of attention on launching its new website, something it is keen to promote to dealers.

"We’re keen to direct all our dealers to the new website rather than to the traditional catalogue and price list. With the rapid growth of the company and the new brands that have come on board, the dynamic abilities of the website far outstrip what we can achieve with an annual catalogue," said Anastasi.

"With our website dealers can search for products by category or brand and have current availability and additional information at their fingertips. Although we’re pretty pleased with the website as it stands, it is by no means complete. We are keen to get a business to business functionality introduced as it’s something that is an incredibly valuable tool for both us and the retailer."

Having cemented several new relationships with retailers through 2009, Anastasi admits there are still opportunities in several areas of the UK to carry
any number of the five bike brands available.

"Into 2010 there will inevitably be new brands and exciting products becoming available. Despite our firm’s expansion, there are still areas of the country that are not yet covered by some of our bike brands, whether that’s Lapierre, Tomac, NS Bikes, Electra or Vipers Concept. This is something that we’re hoping to address over the next season. So if you’re a bike retailer who is looking to take on a premium brand with exceptional marketing support, please call the office to arrange a meeting with your area account manager."

Hotlines: 0131 319 1444

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