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The NBDA Encourages Support for Companies That Support Independent Bicycle Dealers

The NBDA encourages our dealer members to support distributors that support the Independent Bicycle Retailer


By choosing to purchase and stock specific bicycle and bicycle accessory brands, the local bike shop adds significant value to those brands.  The knowledgeable staff of the local bike shop educates the public on the benefits and proper use of the brands they stock and provides local warranty support for those brands. 


Smaller less established brands are often first introduced to the cycling consumer through the staff of the local bicycle shop and the support the local shop gives those brands plays a pivotal role in the increased market share those brands come to enjoy.


Once a brand gains a higher level of consumer appreciation through the efforts of the local bicycle dealer, the marketing decision is sometimes made to expand distribution to mass merchants or even directly to the consumer through internet or mail order channels.


While the NBDA strongly supports the choice of manufactures and distributors to sell their products through any channel they choose, we also recognize the harm caused to our member dealers when a brand that was introduced by the local bike shop and supported through the warranty and educational efforts of the local shop, is suddenly sold through channels at margins insufficient to support the specialty bicycle retailer.


Our member dealers are harmed when the identical product they have been selling (and supporting) is made available in outlets where personal service combined with technical and warranty support is not part of the transaction. When the cost of providing local support and service is removed from the cost of distribution, the retail price often drops below that which can be sustained by the local bike shop encumbered by the expenses of a brick and mortar retail operation.   


The reputations of our dealer members are further harmed when consumers who were accustomed to paying a fair price that included service and local support view the local dealer as being over priced once the identical product becomes available for considerably less through alternate channels of distribution that provide a lesser level of customer support.


Distribution strategies that remove the local IBD from the purchase transaction can also negatively impact the cycling consumer.  Poorly informed purchasing decisions combined with no local technical or warranty support can result in failed cycling solutions.  New bicycles improperly assembled or accessories improperly installed by the consumer can result in injury or death.


While the NBDA appreciates the consumer protections afforded by U.S. fair trade legislation, and supports both the letter and spirit of those regulations, we also know that those same laws give manufacturers and distributors the option of deciding how their product is sold, including the ability to select outlets and establish retail pricing guidelines.


The NBDA encourages our dealer members to support distributors and manufacturers that demonstrate their appreciation of the independent bicycle retailer’s role in serving the local cycling community.  The enforcement of MAP policies (Minimum Advertised Price) that protect a brand’s value and yield margins sufficient to sustain the local brick and mortar bike shop is clear demonstration of support for the independent bicycle retailer.