Salsa Cycles will soon begin selling their bicycles at 11 select REI stores, Bicycle Retailer reports. These stores will be located in:
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Fairbanks, Alaska
- Arcadia, California
- Tustin, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Washington, DC
- Schaumburg, Illinois
- Bend, Oregon
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Houston, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
“I’m well aware that some dealers will have concerns over this new sales channel, but I believe this will benefit our current and future IBDs,” said Justin Julian, brand manager of Salsa Cycles, in the letter. “This move will dramatically boost awareness of the Salsa brand and create real opportunities for our dealers to demonstrate what bike shops do best: share culture, in-depth knowledge, and passion.
“REI sells the best outdoor brands on the market. This is a tremendous opportunity for Salsa to raise our brand equity and reach a very large, new market of passionate outdoors people,” the letter read. (Source: BRAIN)
In the comments section on the BRAIN article, local dealers expressed concern over the rhetoric found in the letter. “I can only hope they quickly realise this does not make sense and is disrespectful to their dealers and stop,” said James Roedl, Manager of the Campus Shop at The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign.
On the other hand, other commenters pointed out the quality service departments that many REIs offer, and in the letter Salsa noted the millions of REI customers who classify themselves as “cyclists,” and the massive impact REI’s educational cycling programs have had within the last year alone.
“We believe this new channel will truly benefit not just the Salsa brand, but all of our independent bicycle dealers,” the letter from Salsa concluded.