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Look Cycle says US on track to become its largest market

Published October 8, 2021

By Alex Solo

A version of this article ran in the October issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

BRADENTON, Fla. (BRAIN) — In August, BRAIN spoke with Sébastien Coué, the vice president of sales and marketing for Look Cycle Internationals. Coué moved to the United States this August in order to support the development of the company's American subsidiary, which was created in 2019. Look Cycle Holding has an annual turnover of $53 million, with 75% of the revenues generated outside of France; that includes 15% in the United States and 15% in Asia.

BRAIN: Could you explain us why you have Moved to the U.S.? What will be your mission in the next months?

Sébastien Coué: Just as a reminder, we opened Look and Corima U.S. subsidiary with Mike Gann in 2019. The work done has allowed the two brands to grow very quickly in the market, while improving our relationships with our dealer network and riders. With Federico Musi, Look Cycle Holdings' group president, we have decided to further invest in our American family. Our primary goals were to better align the French and American teams, while improving the flow of information from the U.S. to France. I arrived here at the end of August with the objectives of supporting the U.S. subsidiary in their growth, and building the structure needed to ensure our product development takes into better consideration the North American market needs. In addition to streamlining communication from the U.S. to our French headquarters, we will likely strengthen the team around Mike Gann, including staff working on global projects.

BRAIN: How do you work with the U.S. retail network?

Sébastien Coué: Look and Corima are both distributed through our subsidiary, which is based in Bradenton, Florida. Look USA is selling to retailers directly in addition to the distribution offered through Quality Bicycle Products. Our efforts are currently centered on creating strong retailer-based brand centers, and developing deeper relationships with Look dealers. This focus is rooted in minimum advertised price (MAP), higher dealer resale margins, fast and reliable service and support. QBP is a great partner in the USA, with access to most independent retailers. Corima is only sold to retailers via the subsidiary office. Due to its very rapid growth, we moved last June to have larger premises and we will strengthen the teams in the coming months.

BRAIN: How are Look Cycle and Corima now performing in the U.S.?

Sébastien Coué: The results of these first three years are very positive. Of course, current difficulties within the supply chain of the cycle industry prevent us from accelerating as fast as we want, but I believe that today we offer a level of service superior to the industry average. We control our production in France and have implemented the necessary actions to meet the growth in demand in recent months. The U.S. is now Look's second largest market, following our home market, France. The United States is a very large market in terms of riders and it is very likely that this will become our first market in a few months. Mike Gann, the president of Look USA, has surrounded himself with a great team and an effective distribution partner in QBP. The structure is built to provide the necessary service to retailers, distributors and riders. Regarding our range, we have launched products that better align with the trends emerging or developing from the North American market (765 Gravel, MTB pedals, platform pedals, gravel wheels). This has allowed growth in the United States but also globally. On this subject, Look and Corima are going very well. We have doubled our production capacity for wheels and pedals in France (Nevers) to meet the increased demand. We plan to continue at a very high pace for the next 12 months as we watch closely the changes in riders and the products they need to enjoy the cycling lifestyle.

BRAIN: What are your best sellers products in the U.S.? Do you have other projects in progress for the North American market? Do you have some plans with Stages Cycling?

Sébastien Coué: Every market has its own differences and the riders dictate how the cycling life is expressed in products. Non-racing road, gravel, and trail riding are all growth areas, and places we can continue to offer great products that carry on Look's long heritage of quality and innovation. About our projects, Mike Gann and I are working on a wide range of projects in the U.S. market. It is still too early to talk about most of them. For Stages Cycling, we always have open dialog between the Look team and indoor cycling companies, including companies like Stages. When the time and situation is right, we will give more information with the president of Stages.

Alex Solo is a journalist who covers the French bike industry.

Sébastien Coué.
Topics associated with this article: From the Magazine

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