Brisbane-based bike distributor Advance Traders has launched Bicycle Centre in partnership with independent retailers across the country.

Advance Traders national sales manager Ged Collins said the launch of Bicycle Centre is aimed to give those who join the venture exclusive business-to-business offers that will help address critical areas of business, including product and sales training, marketing, store fitout, external signage and social media presence.

“Australia’s bicycle retail market remains fragmented with no dominant player and around 900 independents nationwide. After visiting many stores across Australia it’s apparent that whilst there are many very successful operations, there are many whom are requesting help with the business aspects of bicycle retailing,” he said.

“Bicycle Centre won’t be taking over partner shops’ businesses, but will address key business challenges for many such as access to sales and product training, business school, an inventory support model and broader marketing appeal by virtue of being part of something bigger.”

Collins said the strategy is primarily aimed at existing Advance Traders dealers seeking extra support and complementary to Advance Traders’ existing dealer base and would help the business secure their retail distribution network and a closer relationship with partner stores.

“The most important aspect of the strategy is that this network will combine all our efforts into a true partnership to build more successful businesses. As partners we should only view a sale as completed at the point when the bike is wheeled off the showroom floor and handed to the customer for payment,” he said.

Under the partnership, a partner shop will be rebranded as Bicycle Centre and stock will be made up of Advance Traders’ bikes across Merida, Norco, Lapierre, DK and Centurion brands including the newly launched range of Axiom accessories.

“It’s important we offer a range of globally recognised brands, each with their own individual heritage, a commitment to R&D resulting in unique selling values and a quality bike for every type of cycling category,” Collins said.