Episode 83: *Special Episode* Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market

“ I think it’s absolutely the future is going to be stronger and stronger, pick up in store, click and collect. And we think it’s just another way people want to buy. You just have to provide how people want to buy, anyway they want to buy.

– Pete Buhl, Founder + Co-Owner of Beeline Bikes

To listen to all episodes in this series, click here

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Part 3: Evolving the Brand to Retail Specialty Relationship with Erik Saltvold of Erik’s Bikes, Board and Ski

This episode is the second in a special Channel Mastery podcast series, co-produced by Bicycle Retailer and Verde Brand Communications, titled: Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market.

The evolution of the specialty bike market is happening fast. The learning available to all of us lies in the evolution itself. In bike, we’ve got a front-row seat to discover what’s working, and what isn’t, as an entire established industry works to modernize to meet the expectations of today’s connected consumers.

Today’s guest is Erik Saltvold, the founder and owner of Erik’s Bike, Board and Ski. Erik’s business has only grown through the country’s retail correction, and this show offers a purview into why. Erik’s now comprises 30 stores in six states, a healthy online presence, and 450 employee team.

In this episode, Erik shares his approach to winning in specialty retail. He takes calculated risks, re-invests in his business, and also is continually testing and learning what works. He also talks at length about the challenges of being a specialty retailer with an assortment of brands that are also evolving. Often, retailers are left to manage processes and new systems from brands as they too strive to meet the needs of today’s Amazon-trained consumers.

We also discuss a number of other headlining topics, including:

  • The recent news headlines around Performance Bikes shuttering and REI burning the boats by investing and committing to bike
  • How ‘show and ship’ is evolving in the specialty bike market today – hint, it’s in a bit of an awkward teenager phase for many brands, and the retailers are often stuck trying to figure out how to make the model work for multiple brands – all with multiple approaches
  • What brands need to do to continue to evolve their operations to get more consumer-centric
  • How click and collect is evolving for the omnichannel consumer seeking a specialty experience

This special series includes six more interviews on tap with specialty retail and branding experts from evolving brick-and-mortar retail, marketplaces, direct-first brands, SaaS providers, and established broad-market global retail in the bicycle and lifestyle space. The goal is to discern the top five key levers that will drive specialty businesses to success in 2019.

You’ll be hearing from leaders from companies like SRAM, Canyon, GCN, Erik’s Bike and Board, Decathlon, Beeline and other leading companies.

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GUEST PROFILES:

Erik Saltvold

Erik Saltvold is the founder and owner of Erik’s Bikes, Board and Ski, and successful and growing collection of 30 specialty stores that are successfully competing with marketplaces like Amazon and broad-market retailers. Erik’s is a multi-channel retail business with a consumer-centric focus.

TOPICS COVERED:

The emergence of a new brand to retailer specialty relationship, ship to show product launches, REI’s renewed push into bike, Performance Bikes bankruptcy, data, e-bikes and more

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