Are manufacturers moving away from CRC?
I think most manufacturers would be foolish to remove their products from an obviously successful sales channel, that works well alongside a thriving bike shop market.
I think there’s shipping time, manufacturing lead times, supplying other sales channels first ( giving shops a good run at a product before a giant like CRC gets hold of it ) to considerPosted 4 years ago
Extra do indeed distribute Easton.
It does seem like CRC are stocking more and mote of the stuff that they are involved with which is fine, but I’vefound myself bbuying more and more stuff from elsewhere. Tweeks seem to have a good range, comparable prices and quick delivery.
The CRC range gets smaller and smaller all of the time which I think is partly down to then pushing their own brands a lot and others getting hacked off with the discounting maybe it pressure from other outlets who struggle to compete.Posted 4 years agobrakesMember
and consumers? I’ve got 4/5 online sites that I automatically check now rather than just defaulting to CRC.
what REALLY annoys me is when you search for something and click on ‘in stock’ and it shows you stuff that isn’t in stock, plus when you search for something and it shows up as £10 on a CRC search but when you look at it it’s £10 for a size xxs and the normal sizes are £30…Posted 4 years ago
Definitely agree with the TK Maxx analogy. They used to be my default place for online parts but less so these days.
They also seem to have a continuous clearance / sale on something with nothing of any use unless your tiny. Its a shame because they’re business model was pretty good and the service I’ve had has always been top notch.Posted 4 years ago
Noticing lately how slow new products are to appear on CRC. For example – take Renthal – I’;d have thought a company like them could sell loads of product via CRC, and you’d expect their marketing/sales folks would want to be pushign their new products.
But their new(ish) stuff hasn’t appeared at all – no sign of the direct mount stem (that’s been around for ages), the new FatBar Lite, or their lock-on grips.
Similarly, no sign of new MRP product (G3/AMG), ODI Fork bumpers – while other brands they did support have less and less stock – Easton Haven alu bars no longer available, stuff like that.
Are brands moving away from CRC? Or are CRC moving away from those brands to sell their own stuff? Or am I imagining it all?Posted 4 years agouwe-rMember
They have probably hit on a very profitable seem of selling only their own stuff or selected others, removing other low margin stuff drives sales to where the profit is but ultimately this will detract from the service as people are clearly picking up on the lack of stock and options when looking for a part and are heading elsewhere. Online shoppers will be as fickle as it comes.Posted 4 years ago
Not sure brands directly look to sell via CRC and the like. Much of it’s OEM stock isn’t it? I would guess CRC do all the work in sourcing supplies from the cheapest distributor source.
Manufacturers on the other hand would be out their pushing sales through channels to control the distribution & retail and ensure a decent profit. They’d want to push their latest and greatest this way and don’t want to see heavy discounts early on.
From what I’ve heard of some other big name online retailers, some products are missing not because the manufacturer won’t deal but because the retailer can’t get good enough deals or have issues with the distributor.Posted 4 years agobutterbeanMember
I posted this last time this question was asked:
Whilst I work for a manufacturer (that doesn’t supply CRC), I have friends who work for distributors. Slowly but surely they are pulling brands out because they don’t want to deal with them any more.
This is also happening with other prominent outlets, so not just CRC specific. Some of these outlets have new buyers in place that have realised the grey/OE market is a great way to make a fast buck but not a great way to build a long term relationship with the distributors & manufacturers.
It would help if some bike manufacturers could get more of a handle on proper forecasting so there isn’t such a massive oversupply of components flooding the market in the first place.Posted 4 years agodiscoduckMember
I’ve been thinking the same thing as the TK Max analogy, a good one that !
I’ve definately noticed lesser and lesser decent kit on there and I’m too pissed off with £13 for XYZ for instance only to open up the link and find as mentioned above that the one I actually want is £49.99 !
I personally don’t like wiggle, the amount of times I’ve gone to order on line and it states this item is free delivery, only to find out delivery is added at checkout ? What’s that about,
I’ve been using Stif, same stuff as anywhere else but free postage and its the price as other places too, I’m just reluctant to pay over the odds for something that lured me in for a killer deal.Posted 4 years ago
Problem with many of the smaller ones is they can’t carry much stock but many will quote things as being in stock based on what their suppliers tell them. I’ve had countless incidents of ordering in stock items only to be told the supplier is out of stock and they won’t be back for months. CRC and Wiggle tend to actually have the stock they say. Though CRC I find aren’t quick and don’t ever use their premium delivery as it takes longer!(seems it takes longer to get the parcel out the door, the delivery itself is next day). Wiggle are always good though they don’t stock everything.Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
Is it possible CRC are now feeling the delayed effects of their redistribution of OE stock across regions?
For instance their tactic of bypassing Madison for Shimano stuff by going elsewhere in Europe or finding “Grey” OE distributors and buying in bulk, worked for a few years but are those same European Shimano distributors now ceasing to supply CRC so readily, when they see an expanding CRC breaking more and more into their own home markets and competing directly with their other customers.
Could CRC’s original competitive advantage (Basically being able to buy OE stock in bulk from other sales territories and then undercut the locals elsewhere by having bypassed the official distribution chain) now have become a limiting factor.
CRC wants to operate like a “Global, direct to customer distributor” in a market full of established “smaller, regional two tier distribution networks” they are however still reliant on obtaining stock at a competitive price from the “Old” distribution networks and I’m sure a number of brands probably still prevented from supplying CRC directly (even via hotlines) by agreements with their existing distributors.
As was stated before, CRC end up waiting for a distributor to dump some OE overstock to allow them to undercut the smaller businesses again, but as the supply chain gets a bit leaner and more efficient (essential given the current economic climate) they will find these cheap bulk deals harder to come by…
TBH these clunky old distribution models can’t last forever, not in a world where I as a consumer can go online and buy parts from the UK, Germany, France, Spain or Poland and chase down the best prices from all over the EU.
CRC have done well for a while by effectively shifting stock from one market into another, but even that tactic had a limited shelf life.Posted 4 years ago
They’re free to source from wherever in the EU however and according to EU law manufacturers cannot block them from doing so as it breaches free trade rules in Europe. If all distribution channels are blocked though then not sure what the rules are there, but they still free to source other than direct from official distributors, though manufacturers can legally try to block grey imports from outside the EU.Posted 4 years agorazorSubscriber
By contrast I’ve found Wiggle have become more competitive for price and availability than they were in recent years, but Evans often end up being the best option when you use their discount codes. May be a bit better than using CRC, but still feels a bit like like selling your soul though.Posted 4 years agoThe PinksterSubscriber
These days my normal purchasing goes like this –
2 – Merlin
3 – LBS
4 – Internet search
5- CRC, but only if I have to. Their prices are no longer that special, those boxes they pack stuff in are ridiculous most of the time and their DFS style mail-shots really get on my bits these days.
What’s with the permanent sale? If you’re stuff is that good value surely you don’t need to constantly plug the same dreary sale stuff.Posted 4 years agoMSPSubscriber
They’re free to source from wherever in the EU however and according to EU law manufacturers cannot block them from doing so as it breaches free trade rules in Europe. If all distribution channels are blocked though then not sure what the rules are there, but they still free to source other than direct from official distributors, though manufacturers can legally try to block grey imports from outside the EU.
I am not sure that is strictly true, manufactures do seem to be able to still exert some control over the markets, specialized won’t allow distributors or retailers to sell bikes outside their agreed markets. Fox are also pretty strict, which is a shame because the German distributor is crap.Posted 4 years agoplyphonMember
Manufactures offer rebates on units sold quite often
“Sell X units in Y period and get $Z dollars per unit back.”
As a sort of sales incentive, how ever if the retailer is caught sourcing from grey markets, or not from authorized distribution they can cancel the rebate, thus giving them leverage on the supply chain/end user costPosted 4 years ago
MSP – Member
I am not sure that is strictly true, manufactures do seem to be able to still exert some control over the markets, specialized won’t allow distributors or retailers to sell bikes outside their agreed markets. Fox are also pretty strict, which is a shame because the German distributor is crap.
They may be able to control their distributors and approved retailers, but they can’t legally stop any other EU retailer from sourcing from wherever in the EU. Likewise they can’t stop a consumer from ordering from anywhere in the EU, but they can attempt to stop a retailer/distributor outside of the EU from importing to the EU. Though usually that’s difficult if they’re not under their control.
Though while that’s the EU rule/law, many break it, or at least bend the rules.
Also, they’re entitled to say they don’t ship to your country, but if you want to buy from there and arrange collection/delivery yourself then fine.Posted 4 years agoninfanMember
Things to remember:
Its an incestuous relationship, it takes big balls from any manufacturer to cut off supply to someone who represents as much as 20% of their total turnover – even if it impacts on the other 80%
A large proportion of CRC’s sales are international, particularly high value goods to the US and Australia, due to the tax implications these are already a very good deal in the purchasing country, so they don’t need to discount them as much – though some manufacturers have been trying to restrict them to ‘EU only sales’.
The TK Maxx analogy is a good one, for a manufacturer there’s not many retailers out there who you could go to and clear out all your last season stock in odd sizes to, and who would take the lot without cherry picking – though they may well be selling it to CRC for cost price (or less) just to get rid of it in one whack its better than a complete loss – and CRC are good payers who can just say ‘yes’ on a 150k deal.Posted 4 years ago
It’ll be interesting to see where CRC go because they do appear to no longer be the default choice of many and most people see through their permanent sales. The price drop things last summer on clothing and helmets were genuinely good though and I got loads of money off a piss pot and a Royal alpine jacket.
I’ve used Evans a couple if times but their warehouse is moved at a glacial pace compared to my experience of CRC. Wiggle seem a tad slow in my experience too but the cynic in me thinks that us deliberate to try to enci people to cough up for the express dispatch!
I tend to use the net a lit for convenience and because most shops can’t carry a big enough ra he to suit everyine. I was trying to track down the reducer for a Hope tapered headset last week and most people thought I was talking about a unicorn! However, Swinnerton Cycles at the Chase had it and I’ve got to say it’s ages since I was in there and I was genuinely surprised at the amount of stock they had.Posted 4 years agobutterbeanMember
That’s a rarity though, and they still dump into CRC, because their audience is massive compared to Commencal.
It was hard to stock brands that CRC don’t sell at one point, but as more people are moving away from them there is more opportunity for independents to work with brands & distributors.
I don’t really have any sympathy for shops that moan about CRC & it’s companies, then jump into bed with a number of the brands they bring in. They never learn though.Posted 4 years ago
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