Taiwanese Leading Bicycle Store Brand Attaque Brings A New Twist On The Traditional Concept Of Concept Bicycle Stores To Malaysia With Their Launching Of The Attaque Brand Locally.
Attaque is a Taiwanese brand that came onto the market in October 2013, making it a newcomer to the competitive world of cycling retail trade. Founded by Wei Hong-Fan, scion of the Wei family, famous for their successful noodle manufacturing business, the Attaque line of concept stores, as a channel brand, have a unique concept in approaching the product mix and retail brands that their concept stores carry. Where most concept stores from the big name manufacturers require that retailers carrying their brand only sell the products that are specified, Attaque has gone the other way, letting their concept stores sell other brands that complement, or enlarge, their range of offerings. This is in keeping with Attaque’s philosophy of giving the customer what they want, in terms of an “A-class presentation with A-class service.”
THE ATTAQUE BEGINS
Harry Liao, Attaque General Manager, elaborates, “We are a new brand in the market, and we have to do something different. Our competitors, 100% of them, have exclusive shops. But the dealers, they really want to sell our brand, Gusto. But those brands, they said to the dealer, ‘You cannot sell Gusto.’ So the dealers said, ‘Sorry, we cannot sell Gusto.’ So, I thought, we have to do it through our own channel, otherwise no one is going to sell our brand in Taiwan.” From that initial premise, Attaque now has 20 outlets in Taiwan, beginning from October. In China, they have 128 outlets, with an average of one Attaque outlet opening every week.
Attaque was born out of the background of research and development that is shared by Wei Hong-Fan and Harry. An initial meeting as engineering colleagues working in Foxconn 10 years ago led to Wei bringing Harry along with him to a manufacturing venture, making casings and components for cellular phones. This brought them to carbon fiber to be used in the manufacture of casing components. Harry says, “About 4 or 5 years ago, we took our knowledge of carbon fiber and began in the bicycle industry.” This began with Gusto bikes as a brand, and led to the creation of Attaque as a channel brand.
GO FOR THE GUSTO
Harry is clear about the fact that Attaque does not stop any of its dealers from carrying other brands that will complement their range of products on sale in the store. “For me, it’s very good. Think about it. If we have other brands, the customer can look and see. For us, it generates interest.”
Talking about Gusto bikes, Harry says, “Gusto will always be a very high value brand at affordable prices. Everyone will be able to afford it. And for Attaque, there are no distributors. The dealer sells directly to the end user. The bike comes straight from the factory, then through the dealer; there are no distributors, there is no middle person. This lets us keep the prices at good value.”
Harry forecasts a healthy growth for Attaque in the coming year. He put forward one of their strategies as a brand for thought, where Attaque assumes the risk for dealers in terms of stocking. “We cannot predict what will happen in the coming year, so we assume the risk for the dealer by holding the stock in the warehouse for them, and they will order as they require. We also buy up unsold stock if necessary, or provide promotional gifts.” Harry also emphasises that Attaque builds strong relationships with their dealers, “I need to know, as the GM, what is happening in the market. So I spend a lot of time with the dealers.”
Gusto bikes also come with a lifetime warranty. Harry elaborates, “Obviously, our brand is a new brand. So the important thing is to guarantee that our brand is a good brand, that it is quality. So, how do you guarantee your product? So, I provide a lifetime warranty, I guarantee my product. Secondly, a brand is only as good as its service, especially added value service. For me, warranty is one part of the service. So, you cannot sell a product, then say 3 years later, ‘This is not my problem.’ This is not the brand image I want.”