Way back in 1996 when I created the first Bicycling YearBook, I had no idea how quickly this annual trade directory would be embraced by Australian bicycle retailers. After selling the Bicycling Australia group, which included the Bicycling Yearbook, to Yaffa Media in 2014, they have continued publishing the YearBook every year until 2019, but recently announced that they would not be continuing in 2020.
This led me to research the obvious question, ‘Is there still a place for a printed trade directory in our age of the internet?’ I queried both retailers and wholesalers and their answer was a definite ‘Yes!’. Only today when I was visiting another bike shop, asking what they thought of the YearBook, they pulled a grease marked, dog eared copy out from beneath the counter and said, ‘We use it just about every day’.
Whilst traditional newspapers and magazines have struggled over recent years, the YearBook is ‘push advertising’ for suppliers to bicycle stores that is clearly still an effective use of the print medium. You only have to look at the number of catalogues in your letterbox each week to see evidence of this. But the YearBook is far more than just a catalogue. With its proven four way cross referenced index system, it’s a highly effective sourcing guide for retailers looking to find the supplier of a particular brand or product type in an era where bikes are more complex than ever and the range of specialist parts wider still.
I’ve heard other retailer feedback like, “Our guys are still using it every week.” “I would gladly pay for the YearBook.” “I still find it a valuable resource.” So, with this feedback in mind, I’ve decided to publish the The Latz Report YearBook 2020 which I hope will be the first of a long annual series.
Retailers won’t have to pay for their copies. It will be posted to all Australian bicycle trade members free of charge.