bicycle retail

Episode 84: *Special Episode* Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market

we think that the engagement is the most important part today to engage, and to talk to our customers, and to actually do the dialog, and to have the face-to-face, as you’re saying, the hand-to-hand. That’s what we’re doing right now, and that’s the most important part.”

– Sophie O’Kelly, Chief  Operating Officer

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EPISODE PREVIEW:

Part 4: A Global Sporting Goods Powerhouse Makes its Move into the U.S. Market with House Branded Bikes and Gear

 

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

What happens when the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Decathlon, enters the U.S. market, armed with capital, smart leadership and an entire assortment of house branded bike, and other gear?

The story of Decathlon USA is one that’s still unfolding, but there’s SO much to learn about the why, how and when behind this major retail expansion centered in Northern California’s Bay Area.

The story began in Q1 2018, with its original launch into San Francisco, Calif., with a smaller ‘beta’ store. During Sea Otter, 2019, Decathlon opened a flagship store across the bay in Emeryville, Calif.

The leadership team of Decathlon USA used the first storefront as a ‘test and learn’ operation, enabling real-time feedback from consumers in the Bay Area – and throughout California – on its house branded product as well as an experiment on California consumers for its store and online retail experience.

That experience informed the launch of the Emeryville location. In both stores, Decathlon is deploying best-in-class retail technology, including on-floor robotics and an array of video merchandising, among other innovations. The beta store also enabled Decathlon to gain a strong purview of its U.S. consumer, and in this episode you can learn about how the team began to piece together who that consumer is and what Decathlon can offer.

Today on the Channel Mastery podcast, I host Decathlon USA’s COO Sophie O’Kelly, and Jennifer Tetrick, who serves as Director of Communications and PR (and is a former pro road racer).

We’ve all been reading about the arrival of Decathlon USA, now you get to hear the story and strategy behind this expansion straight from two of the operational leaders. There’s so much to learn from the research and thoughtful approach this global retail powerhouse took to launch its U.S. operations and storefronts.

The Shifting Channels in the Bike Market special series of the Channel Mastery podcast co-produced with Bicycle Retailer & Industry News and Verde Brand Communications. Please subscribe to the show by going to iTunes, and while you’re there, please give us a rating and review so that more businesses can benefit from the resources Channel Mastery brings just to specialty leaders every week.

And for more insight to tide you over between episodes, sign up for my Channel Mastery newsletter. Click over here (and scroll down a bit to the “subscribe” prompt).

TOPICS COVERED:

Tech in retail, market research, store launch strategies, ship to show product launches, broad market bike and sporting goods competitive set, today’s consumer preferences, cause marketing, data, e-bikes and more

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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.

And for more insight to tide you over between episodes, sign up for my Channel Mastery newsletter. Click over here (and scroll down a bit to the “subscribe” prompt).

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

CONNECT:

LISTEN TO MORE CHANNEL MASTERY EPISODES LIKE THIS:

Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: podcast@channelmastery.com

Like what you hear? Or maybe you don’t?
Help us deliver exactly what you need from Channel Mastery by writing an iTunes review at: 
https://apple.co/2FJ6lwB

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