Colnago’s UK distributor has confirmed that the brand is not moving to a direct-to-consumer sales model, following concerns after the launch of its new C68 range.
The Colnago C68 family - consisting of road, gravel and all-road frames - has been rolled out with the option for customers in some European countries to purchase a special edition package, direct from Colngago, in an ‘omni-channel’ offering.
This limited edition, custom purchase comes accompanied with a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), alongside an NC tag on the toptube which provides a ‘digital passport’ and opens the owner up to ‘exclusive and official events’.
Cycling Industry News has referred to “trade concerns about further direct offerings."
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Windwave's Commerical Manager Luke Leuillette said: "Colnago are still 100% behind the distribution model with dealers in key countries.
"The only product which is available to order via the web/app is the custom colour configurator NFT product - only as a complete bike and in the unique NFT colour combination to the customers taste."
He added: "Customers wishing to purchase a custom colour NFT complete bike and take advantage of the 'white glove delivery service' will of course pay an additional premium for this. This offering comes with the Scion custom bike luggage for transportation, custom Colnago x Castelli clothing and delivery the delivery to your home."
Leuillette confirmed that the C68 in standard/stock colours, as a frame or bike, is not available directly from Colnago, and can be bought via a local Colnago dealer only in the UK.
The direct-only sales method - previously the pursuit of a select few brands such as Canyon and Ribble - has become more prevalent in recent years, and raises concerns among dealers who, quite understandably, fear being left out of the purchasing journey.
Specialized was one of the bigger named brands to join the trend in February this year, now offering the opportunity for customers to buy bikes online from its own website, and have them shipped direct to their door.
At the time, it told Cycling Weekly that it had heavily invested in the service, recruiting extra staff to provide customer service which could be lacking without in-store guidance. It was also reported that dealers would receive 50 to 75 per cent of Specialized’s margin if they were involved in stocking or assembling the bike.
In response to this change, Specialized also updated its warranty process, allowing riders to access support from any dealer - with the dealer credited for the labour.
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