Mountain Equipment Co-op to sell Bikes: Good?

Competition or co-option?

MEC is going to sell bicycles.  I love MEC, as do most of my friends.  It sells great outdoor gear (cycling included), the prices are reasonable, and there’s one in every major city.  It’s also a non-profit co-op and they donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations.  So far, so good.

Well, the Globe and Mail is reporting that MEC’s entry into the bicycle retailing business has angered distributors and LBS around the country.  They claim (perhaps correctly) that a big box chain (even a socially conscious one) can’t provide the experience and attention offered by a small shop.  Furthermore, MEC’s non-profit status comes with certain tax breaks, a cause for concern among its competitors.

So, that’s that.  There’s something brewing in the Canadian bicycle industry.

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