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BMX International is the longest running BMX wholesale company in Australia and is possibly the longest running BMX specific company worldwide still operating with its original owners.
Born in 1977, in the top office of Performance Cars in the inner Brisbane suburb of Lutwyche, the company which started the whole BMX craze off in Australia is still the largest supplier of BMX parts nationally.
Founder Blair Shepherd is still the current owner along with his son Scott and daughter Debbie. It is not a public business, but is a 100% family owned local Australian company proudly serving all IBD stores in Australasia and giving back into the sport to ensure its sustainability.
After a trip to the USA where Blair and Scott investigated the BMX scene, Blair started to bring various products into Australia to sell to the kids in the local neighbourhood. Being an entrepreneur, he saw the opportunity to promote this new sport of BMX. After getting approval to use a vacant piece of land near his car yard, he built the Windsor BMX Track in just three days. This became one of the premier BMX tracks until it was reclaimed in the late 1990’s for redevelopment
As the business largely started off promoting the sport of BMX, the name BMX Promotions was used, initially selling out of a small office in Blair’s car yard, and a Pro shop at the Windsor BMX Track. By the early 1980s the company soon grew into a wholesale only business supplying its main brands: Redline, Skyway and Mongoose, to over 70 dealers by 1982.
After a series of moves, each to a larger premise to account for the continued growth, the business resided at Geebung in Brisbane’s northern suburbs from 1993 to 2013. This is where they grew their portfolio of brands and changed their name to BMX International (BMXI). By that stage they were importing and exporting as a truly international BMX distributor and were sponsoring BMX riders all around the country.
For 39 years, Bill DeMaid steered the ship as Sales Manager and helped build the business up into what it is today. He worked for Blair, but ran the business like it was his own and built great business relationships with many dealers nationwide. Throughout that time Scott was by Bill’s side working as a team to provide the best possible products and service to their customers. As a result, Scott has dealt with many dealers for over 30 years and some for 40 years. Building relationships and a blue chip reputation is a big part of what BMXI is all about and one of the reasons why they have been in business for so long.
Another belief is that a business is only as good as the people who work within it. The 10 BMXI staff are ‘family’. The Shepherd family believes that good long-term staff relationships, along with industry skill and their knowledge, has also played a part in the longevity of BMXI. Many of the staff have come from retail, so understand what a retailer wants from a wholesale company. They provide good product knowledge, friendly prompt service and continuity of stock, as many regular customers will be aware.
The Best Brands In BMX
BMXI has had a great relationship with its suppliers and has never lost a brand. Blair’s motto has always been to look after those who look after you, so they have always concentrated of forming respectful, professional and friendly relationships with all their suppliers. Because of these relationships, they have been able to secure the top BMX brands like Wethepeople, Sunday, Odyssey, Blackeye, Fit, S&M, Radio, Tioga, Redline, Skyway, Hyper, Snafu, Promax, Fuse, BSD, Eclat, DRS, CST, Cinema, Salt and others.
Blair, Scott and their family are still close friends with Linn Kastan who was one of the founders of BMX in 1974 with his Redline brand. Scott also regularly keeps in contact with the other suppliers, past and present from many overseas companies.
Moving With the Times
In 2013 BMXI moved to an even larger, 2,400 square metre, warehouse and head office premises in Virginia on Brisbane’s north side, continuing to supply over 700 dealers across the country. This expanded facility and their strong business principles have enabled them to remain one of the last true wholesale companies that actually carry stock year-round, as well as provide replacement parts for all their bikes and product range.
BMX is a changing business and keeping up with the trends is something BMXI do well by working closely with their suppliers. Over the years, the BMX disciplines have evolved and expanded to include Racing, Pump Tracks, Freestyle, Street and Trails and of course, Extreme Games. BMXI keeps abreast of the latest trends and hold stocks for all these disciplines. They also sponsor riders and events in all these areas to help keep the sport of BMX alive and strong.
B2B is now influencing how business is done, and BMXI has an easy to use, up to date by the minute website. Over 80% of orders now flow in through the B2B site which streamlines the business side of things so they can continue to offer a faster turnaround of warehoused stock. They also offer Data Feed (live stock information) on request so all dealers have access to all products in their extensive and ever-changing range.
BMXI staff run all business activities in-house, having their own team of dedicated graphic artists who create all their web-content, advertising and publications and print them in-house in Virginia. They are also lucky enough to have in-house information technology management, financial and accounting management and bicycle mechanics who can solve technical issues.
BMXI’s warehouse team ensure that most orders are shipped out within 24 hours, if not on the same day and ensure all orders are packed well so the product is in the best possible condition when it reaches the dealer’s shop.
BMXI’s team includes:
- Scott – 43 years – (Managing Director) Main Dealer contact – Purchasing – Stock control
- Kevin – 15 years – Warehouse, Dispatch and Freight manager – Dispatch – Sales
- Michael – 13 years – Warehouse coordinator – Dispatch – Sales
- Chris – 8 years – Tech Support – Dispatch – Sales
- Debbie – 31 years – (Director) Office Manager / Financial Controller
- Janene – 25 years – Admin Officer / Accounting
- Kylie – 21 years – Desktop Publishing, Advertising, Website Management
- Katrina – 6 years – First Phone Contact, Accounts, Desktop Publishing
- Allan – 10 years – IT Guru
- Josh – 7 years – Casual Warehouse Support
Why Should Dealers Stock BMX Bikes and Accessories?
BMX is the grass roots – where it all starts. Most high-profile road, MTB and track riders started their cycling journey with BMX.
43 years on since BMXI’s foundation, the sport of BMX remains the future of the bicycle industry. The dollar turnover may not be the same as ebikes or high-end adult bikes, but it starts the bond between customer (purchaser) and retailer early on for that journey.
BMX International proudly remains the premium wholesaler one stop shop for all BMX related products, fully Australian owned and supporting the industry financially for a strong future.
For more information about BMXI and their products please call (07) 3865 2966 or visit www.bmxinternational.com.au