Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the September 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.
DAYTON, Ohio (BRAIN) — In its 126-year history, Huffy Bicycles has proved time and again that the ability to adapt is embedded in its DNA. From world wars and the slow death of American manufacturing to the rise of mass retailing and the current retail apocalypse, the company, which got its start when founder George Huffman purchased manufacturer Davis Sewing Machine in 189, has endured just about every market disruption of the modern era.
Huffy began producing bicycles in 1892, and by 1905 it employed 2,000 people at its factory in Ohio, which manufactured 600 bikes and 600 sewing machine per day. Although over the years it made lawn mowers, gas station supplies and other products, the one constant has been the bicycle.
Huffy president and CEO Bill Smith believes that society today has entered the fifth retail revolution. The first four included primitive marketplaces that after a few thousand years begat the general store, led to …read more