WATERLOO, WI (BRAIN) Tuesday May 22 2012 7:35 PM MT—Trek Bicycle informed dealers in a letter this month that it will discontinue its cruiser line for model year 2013 and reallocate resources into stronger performing segments.
“Cruisers were a very small and declining business for us,” Paul Moran, national sales manager for Trek Bicycle, said in the letter. “Taking a hard look, we found that cruisers were being supported by less than 10 percent of our retailer base. Making this type of difficult decision will allow us to increase our focus on key product segments such as road, pavement and aftermarket that will benefit all of our retailers.”
In total about 10 cruiser bikes are being cut from Trek’s product line: five models for men and five for women, ranging in price from $309.99 for the Classic Steel single speed with coaster brake to $469.99 for the seven-speed, aluminum-framed Calypso with Tektro linear-pull brakes.
Moran said most of Trek’s dealers carried multiple brands when it came to cruisers and should have no problem filling the void. While he didn’t provide unit sales, he said the category was a minor part of Trek’s overall business.
Trek decided to alert dealers this spring since 2012 inventory was winding down and shops were beginning to wonder if 2013 bikes would arrive soon as they headed into the busy summer season.
Bike brands that cater to that lifestyle and recreational consumer, such as Electra, are poised to see a boost in sales as a result.
James Erbe, purchasing manager for Brielle Cyclery, said his two Jersey shore shops sold upwards of 500 Trek cruisers last year. He recently picked up Electra to fill in. Brielle Cyclery, which has a location right on the beach in Asbury Park, New Jersey, is a cruiser destination shop in the area.
Indeed Electra has seen a steady stream of interest in recent days as a result of the move, said CEO Skip Hess. But the company isn’t prospecting for new business and is focused on making sure existing dealers have enough bikes on hand, he added.
“We do share a number of common accounts and they know Electra can take care of that segment,” Hess said. “There was a lot of conversation about it prior to the announcement. Our product line was strong so a lot of dealers were comfortable with the move.
“As more brands exit the recreational/lifestyle segment, it gives us an opportunity to gain a bigger market share,” Hess said, adding that he doesn’t think that the recreational bike segment is declining in sales, but that it gets less floor space at a typical bike shop and that other distribution channels, including specialty sporting goods, mass and online, account for a larger portion of those sales.