Amazon, job destroyer

amazonlogoAmazon recently announced it will add 5,000 jobs at regional shipping and customer service centers across the country. President Obama scheduled a visit an Amazon warehouse Tuesday and praised the company as a job creator for America. This is wrong on so many levels.

An administration spokesperson noted, “The Amazon facility in Chattanooga is a perfect example of the company that is investing in American workers and creating good, high-wage jobs.”

Balderdash. The fact is, Amazon is a net destroyer of jobs, not a creator. Amazon alone cost the economy more than 42,000 jobs at local and independent businesses in 2012, Continue reading “Amazon, job destroyer”

Shimano drops distributors, dealers react

shimanopictureShimano’s big move to cut 12 companies from its list of authorized distributors in the U.S. has met with generally positive, albeit qualified, support from independent bike shops.

Effective January 1, 2014, U.S. retailers will buy components from Shimano American, Giant USA, Trek, Quality Bicycle Products, KHS, Seattle Bike Supply, and Raleigh America. Shimano American will be North America’s sole distributor for Shimano pedals, wheelsets, shoes, eyewear, apparel, bags and the PRO line of parts.

In making the decision, Shimano joins numerous industry companies that have established distribution policies to support independent bicycle retailers Continue reading “Shimano drops distributors, dealers react”

Welcome, come as you are

allcolorswelcomeAre non-white people uncomfortable in many U.S. bicycle shops? If so, does reaching out and welcoming them represent a huge opportunity for the future of brick-and-mortar bike stores?

A number of NBDA e-forum dealers think so. Sensing a business opportunity and new potential market, they have decided to focus on serving under-represented people and it’s working for them. There are a whole lot of people out there, it seems, who don’t visit bike shops but love bikes, ride them, and perhaps most critically for a brick-and-mortar store, are local.

The conversation started: “This has become a touchy topic for us here in South Texas as Continue reading “Welcome, come as you are”

Please be seated?

manta2170-smlCould this be the future of bicycle saddles? A European company hopes so and is working to establish dealer support in the U.S.

The Manta saddle may look like the skeletal remains of any random vertebrate, but it is designed to relieve the numbing effect from sitting in a bicycle saddle for extended periods of time. It promises “recumbent-like” comfort on an upright bicycle.

The rider’s weight is supported by a platform of nine plastic struts, most of which pivot around a central spine to allow the legs to move up and down. Manta is designed and manufactured in Scotland.