On April 15, in an effort to prevent brand devaluation and margin erosion due to online discounting, Strider Sports Intl. Inc (SSI), the world’s leader in balance bikes for all ages and abilities, announced new restrictions to online sales channels and a new MAP Policy. On June 1st, SSI took a very bold step, and ceased selling product to all U.S. dealers and distributors pending their signature of a new Authorized Dealer/Distributor agreement. More than 2,500 independent dealers, as well as six national distributors were "inactivated." As of June 22, five national distributors and over 800 US dealers have returned this new Agreement and resumed sales of Strider products.
In addition, Strider ceased selling product direct to Amazon, and began working with an exclusive 3rd party Amazon seller, Netrush, whose focus is proper brand representation, including a commitment to MAP-compliant pricing.
"This was a pretty scary move ... to actually draw a line in the sand and say we won't sell any more bikes to any buyers who aren't willing to represent our brand the way we want it represented, even when we have POs in hand. We are very pleased with the response and support from dealers and distributors. Yes, there were some who complained - one who even called us “communists”—but in the end, those are the very dealers that caused the price erosion and misinformation problems, and we're happy to have weeded them out," said Ryan McFarland, founder and CEO. "Plus, the Amazon channel is now cleaner and more accurately representing our brand than at any time in the last three years. We're thankful to already have such a good number of quality distributors and dealers on board and representing Strider, and we're excited for them to have a profitable future with our brand. We welcome any new dealer who would like to help get kids on bikes, properly represent a quality brand, and earn a solid profit for doing so."
SSI also reported year-to-date numbers for units sold, gross revenue, and net profit all up from 2014.
To find out more about Strider products or this policy or to become an Authorized Strider Dealer, contact SSI at 605/342-0266.