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Rossignol to Distribute MTB at Non-Bicycle Retailers

Sales & Trends

SAINT-JEAN-DE-MOIRANS, France – After expanding its business into the bicycle industry French wintersport giant Rossignol Groupe is now expanding its range of Rossignol-branded high-end MTBs and e-MTBs for model year 2018. It is part Rossignol’s strategy to become a year round supplier of sporting and outdoor goods.

Rossignol to Distribute MTB at Non-Bicycle Retailers
Rossignol expanded its high-end MTBs and e-MTBs range for model year 2018. – Photo Jo Beckendorff

Rossignol’s market entrance started late 2015 with the acquisition of parts and component makers Time Sport International. In the first quarter of 2017 the French group acquired Felt Bicycles and thanks to Felt’s bicycle expertise they are able to launch the Rossignol branded bicycle portfolio. Rossignol is not exhibiting at Eurobike probably because they are targeting the sporting goods industry more than the bicycle dealers.

Last winter a first Rossignol branded bike, the ‘7G’fatbike, entered the market. Three more e-bikes followed this Summer. Rossignol’s bicycle range for 2018 consists out of five ‘E-Track’ e-MTBs as well as nine ‘All Track’ classic MTBs. The Rossignol-branded e-bikes have been specified with Brose and Yamaha mid-motors.

Strengthening Felt, creating Rossignol branded MTBs

Immediately after the Felt acquisition Rossignol Groupe CEO Bruno Cercley announced that cycling sports is the most obvious addition to Rossignol’s sports’ business which strongly depends on the winter season.

“Looking at our dealer network we want to offer them a complete range of products for their markets and rental business alternatives allowing for the different seasons and target groups,” said Bruno Cercley. “While we are working on an ongoing strengthening of the Felt brand we will use our common expertise to create a range of Rossignol-branded MTBs.”

Focusing on specialist retailers with rental business

The French company, already a market leader in ski rental business, is mainly aiming to offer in winter and in summer sporting goods to specialist dealers and rental stations. Rossignol is therefore not only relying on its performance products but also on year round high service level. Bicycle sales and distribution are handled by Rossignol Groupe’s national subsidiaries, where retailers can even order small quantities of bicycles.

French sporting goods mergers

The Rossignol Group acquired the click pedal pioneer Look in 1994 and split it into two independent companies. The company Look Fixations, known for their ski bindings is still part of the Rossignol Group while Look Cycle is independent. Early 2016 Look Cycle acquired the French carbon wheel maker Corima.

In 1951 the French sporting goods retailer Jean Beyl started the ski binding company Look which presented the first-ever click pedal for cyclists in 1984. Following several clashes with his team Beyl left Look and founded Time Sport International together with his son in law Rolland Cattin in 1986. Jean Beyl died in 2008 and after Cattin’s dead in 2014 Time was sold to Rossignol Groupe.

In 2005 Rossignol Group itself was take-over by US lifestyle and leisure apparel giant Quicksilver Inc. The stock listed US company wanted to balance its summer business with the integration of wintersports giant Rossignol Groupe. They finally failed.

Therefore Quicksilver sold Rossignole Group in 2008 to former Rossignol chairman Bruno Cercley. Cercley and his team are now trying to balance their wintersport business and expand in the outdoor industry. The group is aiming on growing its business with Rossignol branded apparel and summer hardware products such as bicycles as well as acquisitions such as Time and Felt. The aim is to become a global all seasons sporting goods supplier.

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