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1.4 Operating activities

Our product range consists of two primary product groups: bicycles and bicycle parts and accessories. The combination of the two product groups strengthens our client proposition and consumers’ cycling experience.

Consumers who buy a bike can add accessories to personalise their bike. This could be children’s seats, bike locks, luggage racks, or navigation and cycling computers. Bicycles are often used intensively and various parts such as tyres, lighting, derailleurs and chains are subject to wear and tear. The growing popularity of e-bikes has also led to an increase in demand for more complex parts such as batteries, chargers and motors.

 The nature of these product groups is so varied that we have adjusted our operating activities to take this into account. That applies to both product realisation and our market approach. While we handle everything from development and design, purchasing and assembly and distribution and sales for bicycles, we treat bicycle parts and accessories primarily as a trading activity. 

Bicycles 

  • Multi-brand portfolio. We have deliberately chosen the strength of a multi-brand portfolio. There are major differences between countries in terms of popularity, preferences and taste. And each country has a clearly different perception of price, quality and service. By operating via multiple brands, we are able to operate close to our chosen markets. Portfolio management ensures the optimum market positioning per country or market segment. In individual countries, we often combine one or more national brands with our international (sport) brands. Our international brands target specific (high-end) niches, where consumer preferences and tastes are more universal.
  • Product range. Consumers want choice. We provide that choice not only via our multi-brand portfolio, but also via a broad product range that targets the middle and higher segments of the market. That is where we can truly differentiate ourselves.

 

  • Seasonal patterns. The bicycle industry is subject to strong seasonal patterns. In Europe and North America, the season runs from September until August. We launch our new bicycle collections at the start of each new season. The peak period for bicycle sales is generally between the end of February and the beginning of August. Seasonal patterns are slowly but surely levelling off somewhat, because our product mix is steadily shifting towards high-end (electric) bicycles, and this is a segment in which consumers’ decisions to buy are spread throughout the year. 
  • Development and design. We are constantly working on new designs and innovations for our bicycles. Product innovation is largely focused on efforts to increase comfort, safety and the connectivity-driven functionalities of our bicycles. We devote a great deal of attention to the continued development of electric and sports bikes. And we continuously monitor the consumer market to evaluate new products and make any adjustments that may be needed. We take this one step further for our high-end brands, where we develop bicycles that go beyond expectations. Accell Group has various ongoing development and innovation programmes, both for bicycles as a product and for bicycle use.
  • Procurement and production. We use professional and high-quality suppliers in Europe and Asia for the procurement of materials and parts. Our own production is focused on assembly and spray painting. Around 60% of the bicycles we sell are finished at our own production plants. We have production hubs in the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, France and Turkey and smaller local facilities for custom-made and high-end bicycles. The other 40% of the bicycles we sell are purchased as ready-made products. These are primarily less complex products, such as children’s bikes and basic models.  
  • Sales and distribution. The consumer is king and that is changing the role of specialist bicycle and sports retailers. It has also led to a shift in our sales and distribution towards an omni-channel approach. A comprehensive specialist retail network is and will remain crucial in markets that are important to us, such as the Netherlands and Germany. Exports of (high-end) brand bicycles are growing.

Parts and accessories 

  • Brands. Brand experience is not strong among consumers when it comes to bicycle parts and accessories, with the exception of the top segment. We operate our own A brand XLC in this market, complemented by (top) brands from third parties.
  • Product range. A broad and comprehensive product range is crucial to serving consumers effectively. Our product range has approximately 75,000 different items in the long tail and this range covers all the key price points.
  • Seasonal pattern. The seasonal pattern for bicycle parts and accessories is relatively flat, with the bulk of sales taking place between February and November.

 

  • Development and design. Technological product innovation plays a modest role in the strategy for our own brand. Parts and accessories are adapted to meet the product and design innovations at our bicycle brands. A distinctive design only plays a role in very specific product categories in the accessories range, such as helmets, clothing and bags.
  • Procurement. The products sold under our own XLC brand are always selected in-house. We frequently collaborate with suppliers we also use for other bicycle parts and accessories on this front. This enables us to safeguard the high quality requirements we set on all our products, including our bicycles.
  • Distribution and sale. We have our own European sales organisation, complemented by local distributors to create a comprehensive network that can deliver quickly to our customers. We sell to consumers via bicycle and sports retailers and webshops. Most exports are to neighbouring countries. Since the nature of these products, especially accessories, lends itself well to online sales, our distribution and sales are shifting towards a range of sales channels.

 

 

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