Lapierre to start direct sales
A sign of the times?
On November 30 Lapierre will be launching Lapierre+ which will see them selling bikes direct for the first time.
For now it's only going to be on the continent but we have been told that more countries will be added in the near future - with the UK hopefully being in the third phase (potentially sometime in 2017).
It looks like they aren't going full Commencal though. The slogan "la meilleure en ligne, le service magasin in" translates to: "The best of online, in store service"... roughly.
They will be following Giant and Trek's model instead. You order your bike online and then Lapierre will deliver it to your local dealer from their warehouse. Your local shop will put it together for you and deal with any problems.
With Trek's model the dealer gets a bit less money but they can carry less stock, so there's less risk involved.
The real question is, are we looking at the future of bike buying here? It makes a lot of sense to us. You can buy at any time of the day from the comfort of your sofa without traipsing round a load of different shops. You also get to pick from an entire range of bikes, not just what's in the shop.
It should help the shops too. A lot of them are struggling to compete with online retailers at the moment so this could be a way to mitigate the risks of stocking high value bikes. It also means a customer can visit the shop for any advice or issues, so it preserves that personal touch we all love from our LBS.
Lapierre Direct to Consumer Director Vincent Clement told us “ We are excited to finally see the online sales project go live. It is important for us to offer the best value products and best service to our customers and with Lapierre + we have achieved this. We strongly believe that physical stores remain at the heart of the cycling community and that the future lies in a mix of online and physical presence."
What do you think? Is this a good way to revitalise the local bike shop?