LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The brand named for the winningest road racer of all time is on a winning streak of its own. Eddy Merckx Cycles, after a few years of transition, is now slowly rebuilding its U.S. dealer base and is showing a greatly expanded and modernized bike product line here at Interbike.
While the brand almost disappeared from the U.S. market for a year or two, there has been a lot going on behind the scenes. In 2011, Jan Toye, the CEO of Belgium’s Palm Breweries, took a controlling interest in the company. Two years later, Merckx and its longtime U.S. distributor, Gita, parted ways.
The brand was reborn in the U.S., in part thanks to a grant from a Belgium government program designed to help companies set up U.S. operations. For a time, the brand’s U.S. office was located inside the Belgian Embassy near Times Square in New York.
For about a season under the new ownership, the brand focused on a consumer-direct strategy in the U.S., delivering bikes to consumers via bike shops that were paid an assembly and fitting fee.
But starting in 2013, Merckx refocused on building an IBD dealer base and its product …read more