Specialized's equipment and apparel can now be purchased directly from Backcountry.com and its cycling-oriented site, CompetitiveCyclist.com.
According to Bicycle Retailer
, an email was sent to Specialized dealers that stated, “To be where riders want to interact and transact, Specialized has to always partner with the most premium retailers. It has been proven that by partnering with the best Ecommerce retailers, the demand for products increases in the market. With that said, Specialized will be partnering with Backcountry.com and Competitivecyclist.com with equipment only."
The news also marks a slight shift in Specialized's online offerings – complete bikes will still only be available from brick and mortar shops, but those same shops will now be able to sell frames and equipment online.
Whether Backcountry.com or any other online-only retailers will eventually be able to sell frames in the future remains to be seen. For now, the offerings are limited to items such as helmets, wheels, tires, and apparel.
It also remains to be seen what the effect of this news will be on smaller retailers, especially those without a significant internet presence. More consumers than ever are accustomed to online shopping, which means that brick and mortar shops need to offer a compelling reason for them to walk through their doors.