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POC products have always made a strong statement with their safety features and bold aesthetics.
Now POC’s expansion in Australia is making an equally strong statement about the company’s commitment and plans for the local market.
Just one year after creating a new Australian subsidiary to distribute all its products, POC has achieved a formidable position in the Australian market.
“We have seen an incredible uptake in distribution points, alongside an expansion of our range and stock levels in Australia,” POC’s General Manager Australia, Lucien Loyens, said.
Within a year of its launch, POC Sports Australia swiftly built its distribution systems to sell POC cycling and snow products to Australian retailers.
“We’ve established remote office operations with 3PL (third-party logistics) warehouse fulfilment, as well as B2B and B2C platforms that are fully automated and integrated with our ERP (enterprise resource planning) system,” Lucien said.
POC was working with some extremely solid foundations when it set out to create an Australian subsidiary.
It was quick to approach Lucien to run POC Sports Australia. He had a long-standing connection with Cam Whiting, POC’s Managing Director APAC-MEA (Asia Pacific – Middle East and Africa), and was instrumental in international outdoor lifestyle supplies giant Sea to Summit stocking POC helmets as part of its move into the bicycle market.
Lucien was with Sea to Summit for three years, recruited to its Australian arm to work with Camelbak, and brought POC to its portfolio.
Lucien brings a mountain of experience in the cycling industry, as a business leader and a professional triathlete who set up many victories with his dominance on the bike.
The former physical education teacher racked up around 40 professional victories, including notable wins in all the standard distances, from sprint courses to Ironman ultra-distance races. He also claimed several top-10 finishes at the Nice long-course triathlon, one of the most enduring premier events in international triathlon.
When he moved to Australia in the early 1990s, he decided to focus on his family and career, swapping the thrill of racing for his newfound love of sales and business.
That passion earned him a job with Cannondale and he remained with them for almost 20 years, rising steadily through the ranks to become its General Manager in Australia for much of his time with the company.
Lucien then worked as General Manager for BH Bikes and JetBlack, working with them for four years before joining Sea to Summit in 2017.
Cool Brand, Compelling Story
“When I was searching for brands, POC was on top of my list,” he said.
“POC is an extremely cool brand and was the leading brand to put MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) into cycling helmets. When you’re dealing with a brand like POC, you have a very easy and compelling story to tell.
“Everything POC does is strongly underpinned by their typically Swedish values and the company mission to ‘protect lives and reduce the consequences of incidents for athletes and anyone inspired to be one’,” he added.
“Those values also drive all the science, innovation and technology, along with a willingness to stand out from the crowd.
“That focused and uncompromising pursuit of safety, performance and bold design have contributed greatly to our steady advances with POC Sports Australia.”
Lucien also attributes much of POC Sports Australia’s rapid growth to the very detailed business plan put together from the outset and his willingness to share its distribution, product, sales and marketing strategies.
“A progressive, sustainable and long-term business plan is essential but it needs to be transparent and shared with your retail partners,” Lucien said.
“We like to treat each of our relationships with dealers like a partnership and want to make it very easy for them to deal with us.
“We treat all retailers the same, including consistent purchasing prices, so there is a level playing field. We live by our business plan and forecast and take the stock risks on the dealer’s behalf,” he explained.
“That’s especially important with the current restraints on supply, with some distributors and retailers being asked to submit long-term orders to secure stock.
“Current circumstances make it particularly difficult to predict what is going to happen in the industry in the long term. Our business plan and purchasing allows us to offer greater flexibility to dealers.”
Foresight you can trust
“Foresight is underpinned by listening closely to feedback from dealers, to support close monitoring of other market and economic influences,” Lucien explained.
“Dealers give you huge insight to what’s happening in their market and enable you to react to ensure everyone benefits. I strongly believe in working together to achieve the industry’s overall goal of getting more people on bikes,” he said.
Lucien’s initial strategy also included purchases that would cover POC Sports Australia’s operations for a whole year ahead.
“We are in very strange times for our industry because of COVID and anyone who has a good and consistent supply of stock at the moment is definitely ahead,” according to Lucien.
“For example, there are a number of high-end helmets available. But if you can be confident you can source the specific stock you are after, when you need it, that makes a dealer’s decision very easy.”
POC’s road cycling and mountain bike ranges strike a balance between performance and protection. Both include helmets, gloves, apparel and accessories, with the mountain bike range boosted by the recent launch of its Kortal helmet and Devour sunglasses, which have been developed together for a seamless fit.
The range incorporates a wide variety of high-quality lifestyle apparel, accessories and collections to fully kit out POC devotees and shoppers discovering the brand.
POC is represented Australia wide by the following agents:
- New South Wales /ACT: Chris Thomas 0411 727 625 email@example.com
- Luke Callen 0411 754 000 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Victoria: Mark Gardner 0412 225 822 email@example.com
- Queensland: Oliver Elsworth 0466 407 886 firstname.lastname@example.org
- South Australia/NT: Pete Davies 0408 456 005 email@example.com
- Western Australia: Simon Coates 0400 475 722 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tasmania: John Fulton 0437 100 110 email@example.com