Quality Bicycle Products

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Quality Bicycle Products (QBP)
TypePrivate
IndustryBicycle parts and accessories distribution
Founded1981; 40 years ago (1981)
HeadquartersBloomington, MN, United States
Key people
Steve Flagg, founder
RevenueIncrease$200 million USD (2014)[1]
Number of employees
690 (2015)
Websitewww.qbp.com

Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) is the largest distributor of bicycle parts and accessories in the bicycle industry,[2] with revenues of $150 million in 2008.[3][4] In addition to wholesaling bicycles and components from other manufacturers, QBP owns and manufactures several brands of its own. QBP also participates in activities which support its community through cycling advocacy[2] and green building.[2]

History[edit]

Founded by Steve Flagg and Mary Henrickson in 1981, QBP operated from a small office in St. Paul, MN.[5] The company did $100,000 of sales during its first year.[6] In the second year sales reached $250,000[6] and in 1983 the company received half a million dollars in sales.[6] Early on, the company's main product was its mountain bikes, and QBP also specialized in importing hard-to-find mountain-bike parts from suppliers in Japan.[6] In 1984 QBP hired its first employee and sold $1 million in parts.[6] In 1996 QBP purchased a 67,000-square-foot (6,200 m2) warehouse on its current site in West Bloomington.[7]

QBP purchased Salsa Cycles in 1997, a California-based mountain-bike manufacturer. The following year, the firm entered the emerging single-speed bike market with its in-house designed Singleator chain tensioner. Later in 1998, this product and the new Rat Ride single-speed frame (soon renamed the 1X1) helped launch the company’s new start-up, Surly Bikes.[8] The company continued developing brands for under-served markets, adding specialty parts with Problem Solvers, value parts and accessories with Dimension, and high-end components with Winwood. It also became the exclusive U.S. distributor for Jagwire, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of bicycle brake and derailleur components including pads, cables and cable housing.[citation needed]

Responding to the growing trend of bike commuting and “transportation-oriented” cycling, the firm created the Civia bike brand in 2007. The following year, it firm transformed Wheelhouse, its dealer-oriented wheel-building service, into Handspun, a consumer-oriented manufacturer of hand-trued and custom-built wheels. It also founded All-City, which offers single-speed and fixed-gear bikes, parts and accessories for urban bicycling.[9] In 2007 QBP received the first annual Carbon Buster Award from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.[10] The firm opened a second distribution center in Ogden, Utah in the spring of 2010 that has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council,[11] [12] the firm was named one of America's Top Work Places by Outside Magazine in 2011.[13] Later that year the firm opened a third distribution center in Middletown, PA,[14] and moved to new facility in Lancaster, PA in January 2015.[15]

In 2015 Flagg retired from his position as CEO and was replaced with Rich Tauer, previously vice-president of marketing and sales. Flagg continued on as the company's chairman. That year the company opened offices in Taiwan, bringing the company to 690 employees.[5][16] In 2016 the company opened a fourth facility in Reno, Nevada.[17]

In April 2020, the company announced layoffs for 12 percent of its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18]

Brands[edit]

The company owns nineteen brands including Salsa, Surly, All-City, 45North, Handspun, Foundry, Civia, Whisky, MSW, Problem Solvers, Dimension, Mechanical Threads, R12, Q-Tubes, Cogburn, Buzzy's and iSSi. QBP is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of Lazer Helmets, a Belgian manufacturer of high performance bicycle and snow helmets, and through its Q-Active division, the company distributes products to independent ski, run and outdoor retailers. QBP entered a distribution agreement with Fyxation in 2011.[19][20][21][22] The company distributes both bicycles themselves and bicycle parts, in addition to outdoor gear.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.internetretailer.com/2015/04/27/how-quality-bicycle-products-wheels-orders-faster-and-more-ac
  2. ^ a b c Zinn, Lennard (May 2009). "Putting the Quality in Your Bicycles" (PDF). VeloNews. Competitor Group Inc. pp. 91–92. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  3. ^ St. Anthony, Neal (September 20, 2008). "Parts come together". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN: Star Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  4. ^ D’Ambrosio, Dan (August–September 2010). "Industry Profile QBP" (PDF). Adventure Cyclist. Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
  5. ^ a b "Steve Flagg steps down as QBP president". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
  6. ^ a b c d e Gee, David (December 2007). "Pedal Power". Minnesota Business: 48–55.
  7. ^ "ON THE HORIZON – QUALITY BICYCLE PRODUCTS".
  8. ^ "Minnesota company keeps winter biking rolling". Twin Cities.
  9. ^ "Bicycle Friendly Business: Quality Bicycle Products Platinum Level". League of American Bicyclists. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  10. ^ "Senator Klobuchar's Carbon Buster Awards of Excellence". Senator Klobuchar. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  11. ^ Staff, BRAIN (2012-07-05). "QBP earns LEED certification for Utah center". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  12. ^ "More Companies Are Outfitting Warehouses With 'Smart' Lights". Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^ The Editors (August 15, 2011). "49. Quality Bicycle Products". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  14. ^ Staff, BRAIN (2011-12-05). "QBP's East Coast warehouse up and running". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  15. ^ Tim Stuhldreher (December 24, 2014). "Quality Bicycle Products to open Lancaster distribution center Jan. 5". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  16. ^ "Nobody shifts like they do at Quality Bicycle Products".
  17. ^ TIM MEKEEL - Staff Writer (25 January 2016). "Quality Bicycle Products opens 4th distribution center in Reno". LancasterOnline.
  18. ^ Emily, Cassel (14 April 2020). "Bloomington bike parts company QBP, the country's largest, lays off 88 in mass video call". City Pages.
  19. ^ BRAIN Staff (January 5, 2011). "QBP to Distribute Fyxation". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  20. ^ Stephen Regenold (15 January 2016). "Expert Panel: 20 'Hacks' For Better Wintertime Biking". Gear Junkie.
  21. ^ "Guy On A Bike: With QBP It Makes Sense To Ride To Work".
  22. ^ "QBP forbids sale of its brands through third-party online vendors".
  23. ^ ThisisReno Staff. "Quality Bicycle Products Opens Distribution Center Creating 50 Jobs". This is Reno.