Australasia’s largest bicycle company, Sheppard Cycles, is purchasing Victorian retailer Bicycle Superstore Group, to help secure Sheppard’s position in the market.
“An opportunity arose to retain the Bicycle Superstore Group within our business while we find the right independent retailer to take the reins – one that we can partner with for the long term.”
It announced on Tuesday it had signed a heads of agreement with the Bicycle Superstore Group to acquire the Melbourne-based retail brand, with a longer-term plan to transition its ownership to one or more independent retailers.
Sheppard Cycles Australia managing director Steve Paraskevas said the company has partnered with Bicycle Superstore Group for more than 20 years and described the acquisition as a “strategic move that would deliver benefits for the business and for the industry in general by securing the future of one of the market’s leading retail groups”.
“An opportunity arose to retain the Bicycle Superstore Group within our business while we find the right independent retailer to take the reins – one that we can partner with for the long term,” he said.
The purchase will take effect on 1st March and Bicycle Superstore Group will continue to operate under the same name and with its existing teams.
However, Sheppard Cycles will undertake an immediate re-design and re-fit of the Bicycle Superstore network of stores “to enhance the customer experience, without disrupting service levels”.
The group currently comprises six stores in Melbourne and another in Geelong. It grew to 14 stores at its peak under the direction of former part-owner Nigel Letty, including a number of franchise stores.
Bicycle Superstore director Sally Randall has held a majority interest in the business for the past nine years and said “the time was right to hand over the legacy of a great retail brand”.
“Sheppard Cycles has been one of our major suppliers over the years, and we’ve formed a very close relationship built on trust and custom between both companies,” Sally explained.
“I have had the pleasure of dealing with some great people there, and I know I am leaving Bicycle Superstore in safe hands for our staff and customers.
“It’s been a difficult decision to move on from a thriving business, but I know that a company like Sheppard Cycles can provide the capital in the interim before a long-term owner comes on board.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have had the support of a hard-working and loyal team, many of whom have been with Bicycle Superstore for many years as we transitioned from a franchise model to the current company-owned model. We’ve worked hard to keep raising the bar for our customers and to improve every aspect of the business.”
Steve said the success of Sheppard Cycles and its retail customers “has always been driven by Sheppard Cycles operating as a multi-brand, multi-channel wholesaler which partners with independent retailers across Australia and New Zealand”.
“Our strategy in that regard has not changed, and we continue to invest in building a compelling portfolio of brands on behalf of our retail partners.”
Sheppard Cycles Australia has also been in the bicycle industry for over 40 years and in 2015 was acquired by Scott Sports SA, a Swiss-based producer of bicycles, winter equipment, motorsport garments and sportswear.
Sheppard Cycles operates as a successful wholesaler and distributor in Australia and NZ. It owns several brands including Scott, Avanti, Malvern Star, Syncros, Repco, Solo, and Rosebank and distributes many other top industry brands including Giro, Muc-Off, Cateye, Park Tools, Blackburn, and Diamondback.