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June 15/01 10:24 am - Bell Sports Canada Closes Doors

Posted by Editor on 06/15/01

Bell Sports Canada Shuts Doors

We learned yesterday afternoon that Bell Sports Canada has shut its doors, effective immediately. It appears that 85 people based in Canada and the U.S. will be affected - both sales reps and inside staff. Bell Sports Canada distributed some of the premier brands of cycling products - Bell and Giro helmets, Rock Shox suspension products, Race Face components (who had already announced they are working on new distribution arrangements), Blackburn, Rhode Gear, Vistalite, B.O.B. trailers, Cane Creek and Santa Cruz bikes. No one from the Bell Sports Canada distribution centre in Calgary, Alberta was returning calls yesterday.

Bell Sports U.S.A. has been struggling to satisfy its stockholders recently, and closing Bell Sports Canada will certainly reduce overhead costs. For the Bell-owned brands (Bell, Giro, Rhode Gear, Blackburn, Vistalite) there will certainly be a bidding war from other distributors. For other brands we have heard that some will work directly with regional sales reps, and others will find new Canadian distributors. The news caught much of the industry off guard, and we have already fielded a number of calls from within the bike industry. This is also a blow to the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC), since we understand Bell Sports will not display at their fall trade show (September 16-18, Toronto), and the company has always been one of the anchors of the show.

We will update you as more news becomes available.


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