Halfords to sell Bromptons

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
Paulatic
Posts: 4281
Joined: 2 Feb 2014, 1:03pm
Location: 24 Hours from Lands End

Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby Paulatic » 16 Oct 2018, 9:18am

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonrei ... -cry-foul/
Will this be good for Brompton? Sales more than likely but reputation?
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

Brucey
Posts: 36122
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby Brucey » 16 Oct 2018, 11:41am

'being sold in Halfords' is the sort of thing that can damage a premium brand's reputation. The management at Brompton are presumably being told that they have to 'grow or die' or something.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

brynpoeth
Posts: 11427
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Oct 2018, 11:51am

Surely Moulton is the most iconic small-wheeler :wink:

Why are Bromptons made in London? Is anything else made there?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

JakobW
Posts: 283
Joined: 9 Jun 2014, 1:26pm
Location: The glorious West Midlands

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby JakobW » 16 Oct 2018, 1:42pm

They're UK-made in part because it allows the company to keep a close eye on production and keep their trade secrets, know-how etc. close to their chests, and partly for the branding value of being able to stick a union jack on the side. The London thing I've never been quite sure of; I suppose as a premium brand they can perhaps better afford the rents, but once they moved out of the original factory I'm surprised they didn't look further afield. The only other active London builders I can think of are all very-high-end custom (e.g. Matt Talbot, Karen Hartley, etc.); and a couple have moved out to cheaper locations over the past few years.

I suspect the Brompton brand is strong enough to survive the Halfords experience, but I wonder what conditions - if any - they've set for the workshop staff qualifications in the stores selling them.

User avatar
cyclemad
Posts: 151
Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 9:16pm

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby cyclemad » 16 Oct 2018, 2:11pm

I just hope the bods at Halfords know which spanner to use and get training on how to build them up etc....

There have been terrible accounts of bikes being sent out of stores in dangerous conditions.....I even seen ''police '' mountain bikes being serviced in our local store and have watched the ''technicians'' work on them...I couldn't watch for long as it abysmal how they worked on them....Glad it wasn't my bike.

PH
Posts: 7666
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby PH » 16 Oct 2018, 2:15pm

Brucey wrote: The management at Brompton are presumably being told that they have to 'grow or die' or something.

Maybe they just need to maintain coverage, with so many independents closing and the possibility of Evans disappearing the network of dealers is beginning to look patchy.
The premium brand thing works both ways, some people won't see beyond that and therefor think it isn't for them. Someone who's spent £50,000 on a motorhome isn't going to baulk at the cost of a Brompton and is more likely to see one in Halfords than a specialist shop. If Brompton want to be seen as mainstream, then they need the presence in mainstream retail, love or loath, Halfords are just that. There's also the cycle to Work element, I understand Halfords have always been able to obtain Bromptons for those with their vouchers, maybe being a stockist will increase that.

Brucey
Posts: 36122
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby Brucey » 16 Oct 2018, 2:41pm

where I live, Brompton were sold in two chains and one independent. The independent relocated and then closed. A smaller independent gets (and has always got) a very large fraction of Brompton servicing work (on bikes that were sold from any of the above outlets) even though they are not located ideally, because they know what they are doing. That independent cannot get an account with Brompton; Brompton won't deal with them.

That they won't deal with good independents and will deal with chains that have a less-than -stellar reputation says to me that Brompton are making some odd decisions about selling their product and protecting the brand values.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

brynpoeth
Posts: 11427
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Oct 2018, 2:53pm

Selling expensive new machines and servicing used ones are two quite different Business Sectors

Maybe it is good to keep them seperate

Servicing might not be so bad as a business, one does not have to tie up capital and can charge cash

Maybe Brompton could open stores like the apple stores and create a bit of hysteria :wink:
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1424
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 16 Oct 2018, 3:01pm

Brucey wrote:'being sold in Halfords' is the sort of thing that can damage a premium brand's reputation. The management at Brompton are presumably being told that they have to 'grow or die' or something.


Bromptons always seem roughly akin to iPhones and other Apple products - they're not really "premium" in the sense that you're paying that much extra for the scarcity value or the name. They're just very well-made, well-engineered, well-designed products which are accordingly sold at the top end of the price range. So I wouldn't worry too much about Halfords selling Bromptons; the Apple brand hasn't been trashed even though you can buy Macs and iPhones in PC World/Carphone Warehouse.

(I've long thought that Apple should actually buy Brompton, but that's another story!)
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

brynpoeth
Posts: 11427
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Oct 2018, 3:08pm

Maybe Brompton could buy apple :wink:
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

JakobW
Posts: 283
Joined: 9 Jun 2014, 1:26pm
Location: The glorious West Midlands

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby JakobW » 16 Oct 2018, 3:22pm

brynpoeth wrote:Maybe Brompton could open stores like the apple stores and create a bit of hysteria :wink:


They already have; there's 'Brompton Junctions' in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo(?), &c.

From the tales I've heard they're a pain to deal with as an indie; I'm not sure whether this is related to their insistence on maintaining RRP, but it appears to be something other than purely ensuring servicing quality.

Nigel
Posts: 150
Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 6:29pm

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby Nigel » 16 Oct 2018, 4:16pm

JakobW wrote:They're UK-made in part because it allows the company to keep a close eye on production and keep their trade secrets, know-how etc. close to their chests, and partly for the branding value of being able to stick a union jack on the side. The London thing I've never been quite sure of; I suppose as a premium brand they can perhaps better afford the rents, but once they moved out of the original factory I'm surprised they didn't look further afield. .


The boss at Brompton is reported (can't recall where I saw it) to say that they did consider moving, but considered how hard it would be to train a new workforce. And, I suspect there may be a little bit of care & consideration towards existing staff as people, rather than interchangeable-assembly-operative-units.

Elsewhere, on the Financial Times recently, was an article about German Mittelstand companies (the medium sized companies which are, arguably, the powerhouse of German industry). That article cited workforce quality of life and obligations towards workforce as a primary aim rather than "profit this year", an approach which leads to "profits next year, and the year after, and the year after that....".

JakobW
Posts: 283
Joined: 9 Jun 2014, 1:26pm
Location: The glorious West Midlands

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby JakobW » 16 Oct 2018, 4:55pm

Oh, totally agree with the principle; but with London rents what they are (even in darkest Greenford!) I was interested to see that they could make it work.

User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 3787
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby pjclinch » 16 Oct 2018, 5:04pm

Brucey wrote:'being sold in Halfords' is the sort of thing that can damage a premium brand's reputation. The management at Brompton are presumably being told that they have to 'grow or die' or something.


Where "or something" may well include realising it hasn't exactly hurt Boardman...
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

brynpoeth
Posts: 11427
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Halfords to sell Bromptons

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Oct 2018, 5:09pm

Brompton has expanded a lot, high volume, just-in-time methods allow higher margins and less capital tied up, apart from the frames most of the work is assembly I suspect, the mark-up would be relatively high

Maybe a move was considered 'anyone for Milton Keynes?' but the Londoners just loved London so

Just wondering, what is 'Fertigungstiefe' in English? :wink:
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life