A letter to Hope

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  • A letter to Hope
  • Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    Maybe Halfords are selling them at a loss. Heard of a loss leader? Halfords are trying to establish themselves as a serious bike retailer at the moment……

    bencooper
    Member

    Hope are brilliant. Phoned them up today, ordered some stuff, I wasn’t sure exactly what I needed for these bikes so the person on the phone talked be through what was needed. Now they’ll custom-build the brakes I need and get them to me in a day or so.

    They’ve also, in the past, been happy to custom-cut brake rotors for me and other unusual things.

    Have you considered that maybe it’s not Hope discounting, it’s Halfords making a loss on them?

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I’d say it’s definitely Halfords trying to get traction in the “proper” mountain bike market

    mbl1
    Member

    Wow! They are cheap aren’t they. Cheers for the heads up 😉

    Could it be that they are just having a clear out and liquidating stock? Or trying to make their mark in the market for quality gear, as they have a bit of a reputation for selling lower end stuff at the momemt?

    Rosss
    Member

    As has been said. Halfords are trying to become a big player in the cycle industry at the moment so I would assume they’ll be using them as a popular product and a loss leader to get people into the stores to demonstrate they have good offers and improved customer service. It sounds to me like Hope are being very fair in explaining their pricing and Halfords will be taking a short term hit on them.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Even if it is Halfords making a loss, that doesn’t help the small bike shops.

    gearfreak
    Member

    I’m aware it may be a loss leader, I’m also aware that companies can choose to work with partners that share their values and support their products, or they can choose to work with companies who don’t.

    Ben, I agree Hope are brilliant, they offer great products and great support and we would like to continue to work with them for many years to come, that is my point, I feel that by selling their products to the lowest bidder they are devaluing their product and their brand. They may see this differently, that is their choice.

    I’m purely expressing my point of view, how can we, and 100’s of other smaller shops continue to support their products when the stock on our shelves is now worth less than we paid for it due to a business that Hope have chosen to supply.

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    I am not expecting a reply from you to this letter

    Try sending it to Hope?

    bencooper
    Member

    Even if it is Halfords making a loss, that doesn’t help the small bike shops.

    Small bike shops need to help themselves. Stamping feet and complaining that it’s not fair won’t work.

    Edit: Stock on the shelves is worth what you can sell it for. So you get on well with Hope, and know the product inside out? That’s where you have the edge over Halfords, use that and the price difference won’t matter.

    Or go to Halfords and buy stock from them. I got lots of Tubus racks cheap after someone flagged up an Evans special offer on here, now happily selling them at full retail price 😉

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    gearfreak – if it makes you feel any better I wont be buying any Hope stuff from Halfords, as I dont really like Hope stuff 😉

    timc
    Member

    Are we guessing its a loss leader? If it is Im sure Hope will confirm 😐

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    With the greatest respect to Halfords & their efforts, unless there is a serious upping of said game, my local store (Lichfield) really wouldnt be my first port of call for serious MTB kit, or in fact anything cycling related. And this is all down to the staff.

    hilldodger
    Member

    Small bike shops need to help themselves. Stamping feet and complaining that it’s not fair won’t work.

    Neither will advertising that a multi outlet competitor is cheaper 😆

    Edric 64
    Member

    Hope ? dont they use alloy freehub bodies that get chewed up by the cassettes ?

    Davy
    Member

    Looks to me like Halfords buying in bulk before the RRP & Trade prices went up at the start of the month, and now selling stuff off at a big discount off the new, higher RRP. They’re probably not making a loss, but they won’t be making much profit on them either. But they’ll sell loads of them, so they don’t need to make a huge margin.

    It’s good business on Halfords’ part, but it’s also a bit unethical as it’ll put more strain on the small dealers who can actually give good customer service. It’s not good for Hope in the long run, as it’s pissing off the people who actually support their customers.

    Unfortunately that’s the way of the world. Manufacturers want to sell what they make. Suppliers want to make a profit on what they sell. Customers want to get the best price possible. Large national chain shops and internet dealers make it too easy for customers to forget about service.

    warton
    Member

    is this just a really clever PSA, by Halfords?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Isn’t it just a clearout price? Are Hope supposed to be bringing out a new version of the freehub shortly with better engagement?

    Valid points made still, but perhaps the wrong example to use.

    The price of Hope Hoops doesn’t normally dip under £270 or £280 – and then sometimes from small retailers – so maybe Hope are telling the truth on their pricing?

    TheGingerOne
    Member

    Hope generally are great, but their quality has slipped recently given the amount of trouble I and others have been having with their bearings \ oversize hub shells. Yes it was sorted out, but it should not have been an issue in the first place.
    I really hope it was a glitch and is not the start of their demise in order to go for quantity over quality

    Rosss
    Member

    Wiggle and Halfords were both deals on these circa £270 when I bought my flow exs yet I chose to get them from Leisure lakes in Wolverhampton because I like to spend as much as possible in any good bike shop where possible to keep it open for the days when I just fancy looking at new bikes.
    The guys in store reserved a set which I collected that day they also let me chose the axle converters I needed and charged me their online price which was £20 lower without me asking. While I was there I bought a few bits I wouldn’t have done online.

    I think what i’m trying to say as long as your shop is good enough and service is good what they’re selling for online is worthless as people will always go to a bike shop. The big Halfords order will probably have boosted Hope considerably in hard times which can only mean more quality products for us for longer.

    I wonder if gearfreak can tell the difference between a front and back wheel. Halfords don’t seem to be able to, perhaps this is the service/support edge that a LBS can promote 😉

    PS – Shame they did not mix up the prices as well as the description 🙁

    gearfreak
    Member

    Dear Hope

    I hope business is good for you. We, like hundreds of other smaller cycle shops really like your products, and really like recommending them to our customers. We probably don’t sell as much as even a small online retailer, but we do convert new customers to your products everyday. It could be argued that a small part of the success of Hope has been due to 100’s of smaller bike shops liking and recommending your products over the years.

    It’s therefore very troubling that it’s possible to buy a set of you really good hope hoops at Halfords, at a price which is LESS than we pay you for the same product. When I’ve spoken to your representatives at trade events, we have often asked about your discounting policy, and have been told that you offer the same price to all your customers, either your standard trade price, or a 5% discount for larger customers (of which we are one). It is hard for me to believe this when I see a number of large online retailers discounting your product, and now a national chain selling at what would appear to be less than cost price.

    It’s been often argued on this forum, that smaller bike shops need to ‘up their game’, or do something different to compete, however I ask how much can we up our game, and do something different when the playing field is quite so steeply sloped?

    I also ask you as a manufacturer whether supplying to businesses whose model is to be cheaper (not better, not with great service, just cheaper) is really sustainable for you. Once the local bike shop has ceased to exist (like the local electrical store, or many local butchers etc etc) who will recommend your products to your end users? Who will service the products of those who can’t or won’t service their own? Yes you can pay for advertising, but will that be as effective? Once the bicycle market in the UK is controlled by an oligopoly of Halfords, Evans, CRC and Wiggle what will you do when they decide that your products don’t offer the same margin as imported products from the far east and no longer stock your products? I ask you these questions now, as if you continue to support businesses who’s competitive edge is to be cheaper you may find that you have done a deal with the devil in a few short years time.

    I am aware that I am singling out a relatively small company from the myriad of companies who supply the UK bicycle trade, my arguments apply equally to most other suppliers. I am not expecting a reply from you to this letter, but have chosen to share it on a public forum as I feel it may have more impact on both you and other suppliers than another small bike shop owner complaining to you at a trade show.

    Keep making those great products!

    Houns
    Member

    Dammit, they’re sold out

    Premier Icon ceepers
    Subscriber

    While i totally get the support your lbs sentiment and i can understand gearfreaks annoyance, as a consumer a lot of it is to do with how far you can stretch your (fairly empty in these times) disposable income wallet.

    Last time i bought a complete bike, i really wanted to use a localish bike shop. As well as advising me to get the wrong size frame (another story but interestingly they didnt have the right size in stock !!) for a cash payment they would give me £70 worth of accessories free.

    5 minutes on google found me the same bike (still in the wrong size but i digress) for £400 less!!! Thats some hope hoops, new tyres and some other stuff as well for the same cost. As a consumer i cant afford to turn that down!

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Isn’t it just a clearout price? Are Hope supposed to be bringing out a new version of the freehub shortly with better engagement?

    I thought this. Also it was quite limited. I think just Flow and Crest and a few Mavic rims with normal Pro2 Evo hubs (so no fancy SP options or anything like that, unless I missed it.) And it was all sold out pretty quickly.

    If it was just 10 or 20 quid, I’d have gone to my LBS… but can’t really ignore a third off!

    johnellison
    Member

    The other thing is, what Halfords are advertising is probably a “web only” price. I’ll bet if you walked into the store and ordered them, they’d be a hell of a lot more than Hope’s RRP…

    Don’t forget, this is the same company that’s offering a 5-litre drum of Muc-Off for £13 online – the in-store price is £26.99, more or less Muc-Off’s RRP of £27.00 (Wiggle’s price is £21.99 by comparison).

    ajc
    Member

    They sold out of flows straight away. It’s just good marketing having driven loads of web traffic their way for the cost of a few discounted wheels.

    tonyd
    Member

    As above, Halfords are working hard to build a name for themselves. I recently ordered a cheap and cheerful cycle carrier for £26 on the web, for collection at a store. I got to the store and they told me the order had been cancelled as there was no stock but since I’d come to store and found out they gave me a ~£60 carrier (reduced from £100) for £26.

    The store manager told me they’re trying hard to build the brand, and that anything Bike Hut was fair game for discounts/promotions/etc.

    tonyd
    Member

    The other thing is, what Halfords are advertising is probably a “web only” price. I’ll bet if you walked into the store and ordered them, they’d be a hell of a lot more than Hope’s RRP…

    I bought something in store recently (bike lock) and asked for the web price, the guy on the till went online, ordered it for me, printed off the collection page thing, then rang it up at the web price.

    Whatever they’re doing they’re doing it right. I’ve used Halfords more in the last year than I did in the last 30.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I’m still slightly dreading having to go in and pick up my wheels. Last visit was a couple of months ago t pick up a headset bung I’d ordered online. Ended up being a thirty minute ordeal. Took half of that time for them to appease an irate customer in front of me (though to be fair, he was being a total dick) then the other half to find the item I’d ordered (was on the floor behind the counter under a pile of paperwork.)

    Jamie
    Member

    (was on the floor behind the counter under a pile of paperwork.)

    They don’t seem to have worked out the final part of the collect in store process. In my local store at any rate. I have had parcels retrieved from the front desk in the car bit, and next time it was upstairs in the bikehut. Another time, the poor lad serving me ended up looking for a shoebox for 30mins and it ended up being in the tea room.

    They are moving in the right direction, though. Just need to be less half arsed in the final third.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    They are moving in the right direction, though. Just need to be less half arsed in the final third.

    Is weird. If it’s not bike related then it’s always from a specific desk at the back of the store… no problems. If it’s a bike part it seems it could be anywhere!

    Premier Icon parkesie
    Subscriber

    Looked like clearing stock to me ready for the new hubs and rim options. Got me a well priced wheel and when i bend it it will go to my lbs for repair so not all doom and gloom for the lbs.

    LoCo
    Member

    Have you written to SRAM,Shimano, etc etc etc who sell to ‘manufacturers’ who massivly over order and then sell the items O.E as well? 😕

    kendo954
    Member

    **** – id have bought the 26″ flows at that price 🙁

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Many years ago we sold craft stuff. Then our companies started selling to a craft barn type outlet.
    We couldn’t compete so diversified.
    Craft barn has since gone tits up. Suppliers can’t supply to the small shops as they either closed or like us changed.
    Now Clintons Cards are getting quite aggressive targeting the independent card market.
    The card companies seem quite shocked when we drop them if they supply Clintons.
    We can only survive by offering an alternative to the identi town centre stuff.
    When Clintons decide that they want to focus again on selling crap the companies that took the quick buck will be stuffed as well.

    daleftw
    Member

    bencooper – Member
    Or go to Halfords and buy stock from them. I got lots of Tubus racks cheap after someone flagged up an Evans special offer on here, now happily selling them at full retail price

    I’ll give you £20 for one.

    ninfan
    Member

    Have seen it a few times from ‘inside the fence’ with companies selling at below the price I know we supplied them with – often its a cockup, a standard price applied across the board on a brand or product that tips it under the margin on that product – sometimes it was a genuine ‘liquidate the stock because we need money and its a quarter day next week’ and even less often it seemed to be a loss leader.

    nick1962
    Member

    Consumers are being ripped off by companies who fix prices with their retailers and won’t allow discounts.

    legend
    Member

    which is illegal nick, so feel free to report anyone that’s doing it

    ninfan
    Member

    It may be illegal, it is however widespread!

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 87 total)

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