Distributor speaks out on new brands and protecting dealer margins

Hotlines reports huge growth in ‘09

Speaking to BikeBiz, Hotlines has revealed that last year saw the company go from strength-to-strength despite the difficult economic climate.

Hotlines marketing manager Andy Gowan said: “I think the whole UK cycle industry would agree [that 2009 has performed well], on the whole. Sure, we’ve added brands and this has built turnover, but we’ve also grown all our brands by phenomenal amounts through 2009. We grew by around 300 per cent in the last year, and 2010 has shown more growth with no signs of abating.

“We’ve invested in personnel in a big way over the last six months, which has enabled us to work better and more efficiently. We’ve also upped our marketing spend for the 2010 season, making available more advertising, products in the media, as well as sponsoring riders and events, both at consumer and dealer level. Great response from the media has led to great coverage and reviews – this has certainly helped give us the edge over our competitors.”

Gowan also spoke on protecting dealer margins: “It can be [tough], especially with import costs and production costs rising all the time. Obviously with some of our bigger brands like Lapierre and Ghost being bought in the Euro zone, things have been made quite tricky recently. It’s a balancing act as you can imagine – attaining a realistic retail price to hook in consumers, and building in enough margin to keep the dealers inspired, all while making sure there’s enough in it for us for it to be profitable.”

Gowan also spoke on Hotlines’ own-brands Ragley, Nuke Proof, Brand X and X Tools, and a lot more. Read the full interview here.

In other news...

Shimano Europe issues voluntary inspection and replacement for certain Hollowtech road cranks

Shimano Europe has issued a voluntary inspection and replacement notice for selected bonded 11-speed Hollwtech …