October 28, 2009

On hasty reports and shaky journalism

Looks like I jumped the gun a bit in my last post. I somehow got the idea that Race face was being sold to MEC as a company, not just RF selling it's products to MEC. That was an impression I got from somebody and could not shake it until I got the e-mail from Race Face, explaining their actions. I apologize for the poor reporting and have corrected the aforementioned post. Fair is fair so I'll post RF's letter here for comparison to the Lambert one: As many of you are now aware, Race Face has recently made the decision to sell to MEC in Canada. We want to take this opportunity to explain our reasoning for doing this and to separate fact from fiction concerning this decision. Firstly, by selling to MEC this does not mean we are decreasing our commitment to you, the Canadian IBD. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. We are a Canadian based company that has been in partnership with Canadian IBDs for seventeen years. This will not change. In very frank terms, we decided to add MEC as a customer because the distribution landscape in Canada is changing concerning the selling of bicycles and bicycling related products. MEC has recently made an increased commitment to their cycling business and we believe that they represent one additional sales channel for us to ultimately sell our products to the Canadian cycling consumer. It is really that simple. For us to continue to evolve, and even exist, as a business, like you, we have to change with the times. That is all we are trying to do by selling to MEC - nothing more, nothing less. It should be noted that many top brands already support and sell their products through MEC and as MEC’s bike program grows this will continue to evolve as they build new partnerships with manufacturers and suppliers. Additionally, we are aware that some of you believe that MEC has an advantage versus other Canadian businesses because of their Co-Operative status. To further show our commitment to you, the IBD's, we will offer a specific discount to address this issue. Place a reasonably sized order with us and we will provide a further discount over and above any booking discounts. Call it the “level tax” discount. Details will be released shortly. Also, we want you to know that MEC is only buying select skus from our line. We have many skus that MEC will not carry. Please contact us if you would like to know the exact skus MEC will stock; we are happy to share that information with you. Lastly, when considering your future business with Race Face, please remember that we are proud to be a B.C. based company for the last seventeen years. Our foot print in Canada is still very large as we directly employ 50+ people in our New Westminster office. We still manufacture market leading products in B.C. such as Atlas and Next cranks. In fact, despite the recent tough economic times, the demand for our product is strong and we have just added an additional five people in our manufacturing department. We are a Canadian based company that is committed to our operations in Canada and to supporting the Canadian IBD. We understand for some Canadian IBDs that our selling to MEC is an emotionally charged issue. Our hope, and goal, is that by providing a commitment to the IBD in the Canadian market place, we have addressed the majority of your concerns. As noted previously, we will release details shortly on our “level tax” discount and our 2010 booking program. Please contact us directly to place an order

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