Here’s some interesting news that we spotted on Instagram. It looks like Chris Riesenberger, Montana Ricky, Mike Brennan and Sean Curran have all teamed up to launch a new BMX distributor company called Fifteen Distribution. As some of you know, Chris was running the sales show over at Blackout for years before being let go unexpectedly a few months back. Mike Brennan and Sean Curran are co-owners of Merritt and Montana Ricky has been holding down sales for Merritt since the brand launched a few years back. Between the four of them, they all bring A LOT of industry knowledge and history to the table from practically every direction as riders, product development and design, sales in every link in the supply chain and more.
It appears Fifteen Distribution is focused on Merritt and Theory Parts (a sub brand of Merritt) right now, but we could imagine them adding a few brands in the future if things go as well as it should. Things in the industry have been changing up quite a bit these past few years thanks to technology and the internet making it a lot easier to manage every aspect of running a business, and it seems a lot of brands have their own in-house distribution setup, making it so they can directly work with shops and mail-orders ensuring they can supply the volume and the speed of delivery that is demanded now days. With virtually every brand selling direct to the customer or direct to the dealers as either a brand or their own distribution company.
The pandemic has been a double edge sword for the business side of BMX. Sales have never been easier due to a huge increase in demand, but the production side of things has been overwhelmed causing huge delays in manufacturing, price increases and ridiculous wait times for delivery due to a shortage of shipping containers and boats, which is why you have been seeing so many “sold out” notifications lately. 2021 and 2022 will likely be interesting years due to these issues.
Overall, this is an exciting new partnership that could be real good. Check out what Chris and Montana Ricky have to say about the news below!
“I used to run a bunch of retail shops in the 90s with my friends. In dealing with vendors and reps you really learn a lot. You get some good ideas from good reps. You also get even better ideas from the bad ones with all the industry bullshit not to do. Later in life I owned my own shop for 13 years. When it’s your own money to lose it takes on an even greater dynamic and we respect that. I feel like I held my reps to high standards and willingly punished the reps who didn’t live up to that regardless of how much they thought I “had to have” their brand. The last year in the cycling industry was pretty crazy, and I think most of my friends that own shops are really considering their vendor partnerships and where they want to spend their dollars going forward. I always thought it sucked when work turned into work when it could be fun, and I think myself and Montana Ricky being ex shop owners really understand it like nobody else could. We welcome all your ideas for us and you will be heard. Together we can make this everything we think a vendor should be. With the brains of Sean Curran and Mike Brennan and their insane work ethic, together with Ricky and myself, we’d like to welcome you to be our partners in Fifteen Distribution.” – Chris Riesenberger
“I’m thrilled and happy to announce @fifteendistribution a company that’s there for the shops. If you know anything about me you will know that I am in love, addicted and all about the SHOPLIFE. I talk, breath and even sleep bikes. This new beginning here is something that will be for everyone, bike shops, core shops and even the most over looked “Mom and pop” shops. Now that we have @reezbmx on board I know his passion, experience and love as a bike shop owner is a combination that can’t lose. So if your one of the SHOPS We talk to or We text, email with or FaceTime. This new company is for you so tell US what you WANT and I promise you I’ll give an HONEST answer even if it’s something you don’t wanna hear… Love you all can’t wait to start this new adventure with you…” – Montana Ricky