We speak with MD Nigel Moore about the distributor's first four decades in the biz and this week's house show

Moore Large: 40 years and still going strong

It’s been a big 12 months for Moore Large, not least with taking on Moda and American Classic. Can you tell us a bit about those two joining the portfolio?
Adding Moda to our bicycle portfolio has certainly raised our overall bicycle profile within the industry. The current Moda range is just into the second year of this range lifecycle. All the Moda brand values have been retained – each Moda bicycle is individually hand built, with plenty of bespoke build options available. The Moda brand continues to grow and is exciting to be part of. The Moore Large bicycle product team have also been working on exciting new models for launch later in the autumn. One of the stars of ‘Geared 2014’ will be a first look at the Moda UK carbon made frame. This has been a long project that is now nearing the end of its journey to market.

American Classic is a great addition for us; they really are a leader in the wheel and component design arena. Their latest collection is a culmination of three decades of research and they have produced their fastest, most advanced wheels yet. American Classic President Bill Shook will still identify the rider’s need, design the products – to his functional, durable, light, strong, aerodynamic and beautiful specification – and perform the mathematical calculations, prototype and test before moving ideas into the manufacturing process.

What about the other brand additions to the ML portfolio over the past 12 months?
Dare 2b produces high quality cycling clothing at reasonable price points. The range encompasses urban cycling lines, with hidden features (ensuring you get the best of both worlds both on and off the saddle), to advanced ergonomic performance wear, designed and crafted for supreme comfort and performance. The accessories division had been looking for the right apparel brand to fill a small gap in our portfolio for a very long time. When we saw Dare 2b’s latest cycling specific ranges we knew it would be the perfect solution. As Dare 2b is a British supplier it is producing products that are perfect for our UK dealer base and their customers. We’re really excited to get the range in stock and think it’ll be a fantastic partnership.

And there is going to be more brands revealed at the forthcoming Geared 2014 – can you give us any hints about those or is it all hush hush until February?
A new tool brand will be revealed. Super B is a top-end tool manufacturer aimed at bike professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. Super B has been creating hand tools for 20 years, having started specialising in bike tools ten years ago. Based on their technological innovations and design capabilities they are already one of the world’s most advanced bicycle tool manufacturers. Super B launch 200 new products a year, so definitely are at the forefront of new product development. We will have stock of the range from spring.

Are there any brands or sectors in particular that have performed exceptionally over the past 12 months or so? 
We’ve been really pleased with the ongoing growth we’ve seen in our branded P&A business, in particular Limar Helmets and Lake Shoes which have both seen major growth through our IBD customers in the past 12 months. Knog continues to be a flagship brand in the portfolio with a significant push into the high-powered USB rechargeable lights at the back of 2013, which I’m sure will only continue the interest in the brand through the year ahead. But the biggest growth sector for us in the past 12 months has been through our workshop related brands. Both Jagwire and KMC have seen sizeable growth in 2013 and with the dealers taking full advantage of our offer to give away a free matching sized inner tube with every Kenda tyre purchased from their basic range, our longest standing P&A brand has also contributed well to the growth in this area.

We are very pleased with the continued growth of our road bikes within the Moda and Forme brands and this year we have plans to strengthen these brands further. Our Bumper children’s bicycle range continues to excite the market and we are complementing this with the launch of the brand new Barracuda bicycle range at Geared 2014.

Will there be principle suppliers at the show?
We have suppliers attending from all over the world. This is a unique opportunity for dealers and press to speak to the brand creators, owners etc, on a one-to-one basis about their products and also for our suppliers to get direct feedback from the UK market. We have American Classic from the US, Limar from Italy, Knog from Australia, Lake and KMC from Holland, Super B from Taiwan and 4ZA from Belgium to name just a few. From the UK we have suppliers like SIS, Dare 2b and Weldtite.

Why is it a must attend for bike shops?
The show combines all our product launches and is the best opportunity that dealers will get to see all our new brands and new products in one go. It’s a unique opportunity to meet the brand principles and network with other people in the bicycle industry. Hot and cold food and refreshments will be on offer throughout the day.
We will have exclusive show deals for every brand. You will find a variety of promotions such as stock-in deals, combined purchase deals, FOC products, discounts, increased margins and extended credit. You need to attend the show to be eligible for these offers. Any dealer who places an order at the show will also get 50 free Kenda tubes as our way of saying “thank you” for taking the time and effort to travel to Derby.

Any other news dealers may not be aware of?
Moore Large has invested in a new Technical Centre. This will be the base for all Moda bicycle production, as well as our QC workshop. The centre will be equipped with the latest tools and workstands from our new workshop brand Super B. Part of the Tech Centre set up will be to offer wheel and hydraulic repairs for our dealers. We will also be able to hold technical training and product seminars for brands such as SR Suntour and American Classic. Our customers will be invited to see the new facility at Geared 2014. Limar is doing something very special at the show this year to celebrate being the Giro d’Italia Official Supplier and the race starting in Ireland. They have Richard Russel, a caricaturist on hand to draw a hilarious picture of you in a Limar helmet. These pictures will be displayed on the Limar website and the best ones will win free access to the V.I.P spectator’s area at the Giro d’Italia Big Start in Dublin, on the 9th May. With over 200 top professional cyclists from across the globe, Limar and Moore Large are offering a real “grande partenza” experience!

What’s planned for the 40th anniversary of Moore Large?
2014 will be a massive year for Moore Large. Marking the anniversary spans from little things like commemorative gifts for dealers and a limited edition bike to launching a new corporate image and B2B website. The building has had a top-to-toe revamp to reflect our refreshed image. The showrooms have been re-designed and you will see product displayed in a completely different way. New Moore Large branding will be debut at the show, which is a modern take on our existing branding. An all singing, all dancing new B2B ordering website and information portal will also be launched at the show. This is a culmination of months and months of hard work behind the scenes at the ML head office. And it doesn’t stop there… There are still a number of projects to be unveiled later in the year. It’s all very exciting!”

Moore Large Milestones

1940s – John Harold Moore opens a cycle shop in Rickmansworth.

1950s – Expands to three shops in the Watford area.

1960s – John H retires leaving John Arthur Frederick Moore to run the business.

1970s – JAFM becomes distributor for Puch bicycles and mopeds, for home counties north London area.

1974 – Forms new company with Cliff Large who is distributer for Puch on the south coast. Moore Large is born.

1975 – Expands distribution to bicycle accessories.

1976 – Becomes first ‘factor’ to import from the Far East by being named Kenda distributor.

1976 – Becomes first wholesaler to distribute product across the whole of the UK.

1979 – Retail operation peaks at 15 shops, all Raleigh 5 star.

1984 – Purchases Puch UK. From which comes the contact for Hong Kong Link bicycles, a factory set up in China by HK businessman to export bicycles.

1984 – Purchases H J Supplies. Establishes cash and carry business that peaks a few years later with eight branches.

1985 – Imports bicycles from China Bicycle Company Hong Kong Link. Opens with Alpine promotion of 20,000 bikes to retail at £49.95 just before Christmas.
1986 to 1990 – Expands bicycle distribution with Emmelle & Freespirit own brands, agents for Diamond Back MBK Scott – all made by CBC.

1991 – China loses duty exemption on bicycles.

1992 – Anti Dumping 48.5% introduced on Chinese bicycles.

1994 – Becomes Haro distributor.

1995 – Diamond Back sales peak at 100,000

1995 – Registered Barracuda Brand in the UK

1998 – Back in the motorised business appointed as SYM distributors.

2007 – Major expansion of P&A business. New brands acquired Knog, Limar and Lake.

2009 – Forme brand created.

2013 – Onza brand purchased.


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