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Bad Moon Arising?

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MAARSSEN, Netherlands (July 28) – The weather has been unattractive, as an attempt to score the understatement of the year. And as we all know this always has an impact on the sales in our business. But are there really black clouds on the horizon? What might point in the direction of a bad moon […]

MAARSSEN, Netherlands (July 28) – The weather has been unattractive, as an attempt to score the understatement of the year. And as we all know this always has an impact on the sales in our business. But are there really black clouds on the horizon? What might point in the direction of a bad moon arising is a recent letter put out by Shimano, in which the possibility of order-cancellation is made a viable option. Usually, orders at component suppliers are hard and fast: once you put down your letter of credit, it’s a done deal. Now, Shimano hints at the option of cancelling orders – to stabilize the market and avoid the possibility of market disruption. After the brilliant ’03 season Shimano scored a two-figure order plus on 2002, and the initial orders for ’04 again showed the same climbing line. Sales in the first part of this year were disappointing – the bad weather conditions being the prime reason. Of course, the stagnating economy does not help either: customers are ‘sitting on their money’ instead of spending it on bicycles.
A quick round of phone calls, made by us learned us that there is indeed some unrest in the market. From several European countries the same message was clear: there are already some parties offering discounted bikes and parts, we’ll have to wait and see what will happen. If dumping should start as early in the season, it would pose a serious problem, not juts for price and product appreciation by the end-user, but would also influence the coming season. For now, it seems that all is still quiet on the Western Front…but we will keep you posted.(MH)

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