Monday 3 July 2017, Filed in: General

As of immediate effect we are no longer a Trek dealer. Trek have organised for Tri Store to be the official Trek dealer in the Eastbourne area.

I realise we will get loads of questions about this as we have been trek dealer for 12 years so, in no particular order of relevance, the following are the main reasons why:

Trek decided we no longer fitted in with their future plans for their brand. From what our rep explained Trek are expecting up to two thirds of bike shops to close which they are happy about as the remaining ones will be viable. This is in contrast to the current situation where most bike shops are either making very little money or in fact losing money year on year. Trek are therefore concentrating on getting their brand into dealers who are happy to stock primarily or even exclusively Trek so that the remaining bike shops are locked in to Trek so they have strong market presence.

The relationship with our Trek external sales rep was not working and we need a good relationship with our rep to be successful. Retail is struggling these days to make any money, whether it is online or bricks and mortar. Profit margins are at an extremely low and often unsustainable level and cycle retail is not immune to this. Our Trek rep would work with us on business appraisals and planning to a degree but my frankness and honesty with him I feel led for him to look for a replacement dealer and the honesty was never reciprocated.

This in no way reflects on the quality and design of Trek bikes which on the whole we have always been more than happy with, some years value and design is better than others but we still feel they have a broad and strong product offering. Our main criticism of Trek since about 2011 has been the complete failure to have stock of bikes when customers want to buy them. We commit to stock a certain level of bikes, place pre-season orders and run demo bikes but by the time customers want to buy Trek are sold out for months on end if not for the entire model year. Our Trek rep denies this despite us showing him their own live stock situation, apparently good stock of Electra cruisers and entry level hardtails makes up for Domane road bikes and full suspension MTB?s being sold out in December or February!

We have spent the last year and a half deciding what to do with the business to deal with these challenging times for a retail business. We are a small independent bike shop in a reasonably small coastal town with below average household incomes, high property prices and a lot of local competition so we needed something extra. We have seriously considered all options including re-locating, changing stocked brands, specialising on repair work or simply closing and doing something else. Unfortunately most options simply don?t stack up money wise. During this time the boss was putting in some work to secure exclusive distribution for brands such as NOBL wheels, Craftworks Cycles and Rotec Cycles. Our Trek sales rep saw this move as taking emphasis away from selling Trek bikes rather than what it was which was something that gave the business the wider appeal and sustainability that would afford us to continue being a bike shop selling Trek bikes.

All of this means we are not particularly sorry to see Trek go and hope Tri Store can step up and offer the same commitment and support to the brand and customers that we have over the years. We are now presented with the opportunity to represent Scott much better in store at a time their range is looking amazing, if they can have stock available! We have also added Orbea at a time they seem to be on fire with the launch of the new Rallon and Aero Orca plus some more exciting launches very soon.


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