BikeBiz catches up with Robin Corder from West Midlands distributor Velotech
This piece first appeared in the September edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
How has the first half of 2022 been for Velotech?
2022 sees Velotech Services Ltd in their 15th year of distribution but previous to that through my cycle and triathlon coaching I was agent for Rotor components’ first crankset. The RS4X crankset had eight bearings and through elliptical engineering made the arms skip the dead spot.
QRings followed and Velotech never looked back and headed full steam into brands such as Etxeondo clothing, SPIUK with all its innovation, RH+, CEEPO tri bikes, and USN, but with all those behind us we now work with five brands and are acting agent for Parlee bikes.
2022 arrived on the back of a shocking winter, leaving us high on stock and clueless how to plan for the next few months. Suppliers continue to demand orders and as usual things get a bit unbalanced with cashflow.
We had made big efforts to provide the trade with easy access to crank bundles and chainrings, and this paid off in January with a healthy lift in sales falling in February, but picking up for a stable first half of the year.
Sales to internet brands have been difficult as the high stock scenario on some slow moving goods is affecting warehouse space. Euro sales for these companies after Brexit is slow, as European customers are reluctant to order from the UK.
Rotor also recently completed the buyout of their integrated supplier of power products to bring this now fully in house – this will strengthen all channels of power supply on both road and MTB with new products in the pipeline.
Stores are now starting to view us as a go to power solution with the modular crank system Rotor offer. Our newest take on is Close the Gap, a small Dutch brand supplying innovative and sustainable items, manufactured in Holland and is growing for us.
What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for the rest of the year?
Going forward we see a lot of stores with a lot of bikes, and not necessarily the right type of bikes. ‘Not enough customers’ is also quoted to us. This won’t change in the short term, in fact possibly getting worse as bike brands pressure stores into now unwanted pre-ordered stock.
Our message to trade has been around availability – Rotor have their manufacturing centre in Madrid giving us access to product within manufacturing cycles of four to eight weeks. Our stock is always good and Rotor is well priced to compete with replacement items such as chainrings and bottom brackets for all standards.
Stores still tend to rely on us to stock items and right now getting stores to stock items is difficult once our stock is visibly good.
What are the upcoming plans for Velotech?
Velotech will continue to move forward in support of grass roots racing by supporting local leagues with safe CX and MTB based races. Alongside this we also support the women’s team Pro Noctis-Rotor as a co-sponsor.
Our social media continues to be strong with lots to shout about as we strive to innovate the way we market all our brands.
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