If the bike industry had a nuclear option, it was a major manufacturer making the decision to sell direct to consumers.
Well, Trek has pressed the button, and the world hasn’t ended. Of course, the company played it smart by cutting its network of local dealers in on the action. Customers can order whatever they want on Trek’s website, but they’ll have to pick it up at their nearest dealer, which will get a cut.
Still, there’s no doubt this will change the face of brick-and-mortar retail in the bike industry. For the consumer, it will most likely lead to more customization options, lower prices (See: Canyon), and, of course, the convenience of shopping from home.
If any shops would like to know what it’s like to ride out a terrifying digital disruption of their industry, VeloNews has a roomful of veteran journalists who can answer their questions.