In a bid to give independent bike shops an online presence to serve more customers, Madison is opening up its Freewheel platform to all UK bike shops.
Madison is a UK distributor that carries brands including Shimano, Saracen, 100% and Park Tools. Their Freewheel platform is an online shop with a difference - whenever a customer makes a purchase on the Freewheel website
, they will be asked to designate a local bike shop and from then on all commission or collections will go to that bike shop.
The idea is to merge the best of brick-and-mortar and online shopping to allow bike shops to compete with the e-commerce giants. Bike brands such as Trek and Specialized have similar schemes for their bike sales but Madison would crucially allow customers to buy through any participating shop, as opposed to just those aligned with a particular brand.
Freewheel was soft launched with select retailers in August 2018 and currently has 59 participating shops. The service is being fully rolled out at Madison's in house show iceBike*, which takes place in Milton Keynes in February, where there will be seminars on how the system works and how retailers can get involved at different levels.
Dominic Langan, Madison CEO, said, “We are really pleased to now be at the stage of being able to open Freewheel up to all of our specialist independent bricks and mortar customers. This is an initiative we truly believe could benefit all local bike shops with greater customer awareness, improved footfall and additional sales with no cost of entry.
“Freewheel is a sophisticated website with complex capabilities to deliver an effective customer experience for our specialist retailer network. Madison has invested significant sums of money and resources to facilitate the creation of a nationwide union of specialist independent bicycle retailers. Together we are stronger. You can find out how it all works at iceBike* next month and we look forward to welcoming you to Arena:MK.”