Posted by Editoress on 07/16/13
Shimano has quietly announced that it is cutting the number of authorized distributors for its components in both Canada and the United States, and it is already causing a storm of protest among U.S. dealers.
The U.S. will be hit hardest, where the number of authorized distributors will drop from 18 to six, as of January 1, 2014. In the U.S., the six suppliers will be: Giant USA, Trek Bicycle, Quality Bicycle Products, KHS Inc., Seattle Bike Supply or Raleigh America. Of course, this is in addition to Shimano America.
In Canada, the only authorized distributors will be Shimano Canada and Cycles Lambert. Other distributors who currently list Shimano parts in Canada include Live to Play Sports (Norco), Genesis Cycles and Babac Cycle.
Shimano already is the exclusive distributor for wheels, shoes and their PRO product line, and will become the exclusive supplier of their pedals.
"We believe that this change is required by the rapidly changing market. Independent bicycle dealers have been and will continue to be our key customer base and by having a direct business relationship with them, we will be more aligned with their businesses, have closer relationships with cyclists, and offer more support and effective solutions to dealers’ challenges in the market," said Yutaka Taniyama, vice president, Bicycle Division of Shimano American Corp. "While we are ending our business relationship with many of our great distributors, we greatly appreciate all of the support that they have provided to Shimano and to dealers. I would like to express our sincere appreciation to them."
The decision appears to be partially based on a plan to expand dealer direct sales by Shimano, to better control pricing discrepancies caused by both a plethora of distributors and online sales from European-based resellers such as Chain Reaction and Wiggle.
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