Talkback: George White goes into administration

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19/01/2012 at 16:48
Such a shame, sad to here that, I bought my ZX6R from them great service and one of the only bike shops to do real discounts on good kit.
19/01/2012 at 17:24
I doubt very much this is the last we'll see of George White....
19/01/2012 at 17:58
About time shit customer service even after buying 5 bikes
19/01/2012 at 19:32
5 Bikes? Blimey didn't you learn after bike #2 at least? :)
19/01/2012 at 20:13
Feel sorry for the staff,they had some genuine guys
19/01/2012 at 20:17
Rapid expansion in a contracting market was extremely optimistic. Hopefully something can be rescued though. They aren't like Carnells were.
19/01/2012 at 21:54
At last, how many genuine bike shops have gone to the wall at the expense of g/w under selling their products for no profit to just make a huge loss. I am very sorry for their staff but this is truly a great day for the rest of the bike trade,
20/01/2012 at 02:28
Bike supermarkets are bad for all aspects of biking except original purchace price. I agree with Jon Terry, small caring local dedicated dealers are better every day, what about all the employees of the small shops forced to close by the latest stack em high dealer, remember City etc. A few get cheap bikes and poor service and a few get rich but generally the industry suffers.
20/01/2012 at 08:43
Writing on the wall for a long time, everyone can offer discount if you dont pay for the goods in the first place. the backlash to this will be how it damages the suppliers, again. Frank Thomas Group , and Motrax went down owing 16million. GW is going to be huge, Sorry for the staff , but good news for independant bike shops struggling against his pile it high and sell it cheap policy. Good Ridance......
20/01/2012 at 08:49
I'd agree with Tim there Mr Walker. Surely after the 2nd bike you'd have learnt. More fool you imo...
20/01/2012 at 13:05
Damn. I did wonder how they sold at such low prices though.
20/01/2012 at 15:09
20/01/2012 at 16:44
I bought a honda. On sunday . Was expecting it delivered today. Not sure whats happening with that! Gutted
20/01/2012 at 19:57
George White turned over 25m and lost a fair amount of money in doing so, in fact they had been losing money for some time. In any other business that level of turnover would be expected to provide a half decent profit otherwise why bother to open the doors. Unfortunately this is the reality of selling motorcycles, at there is a tiny profit margin on the full retail price and virtually zero on the discounted margins they operated on so their demise was a matter of when not if. An independant dealer who loved motorcycles might see it as a worthwhile enjoyable business to be in,however he or she would probably earn more as a plumber in truth. Customers want the best possible levels of aftercare and service and rightly so, yet unlike the car business it's expected to be at a low hourly rate so it's £ hardly worth investing in a decent workshop. Investing a large sum of money in the hope of earning a few pounds does not make any sense, and expecting that any of the major brands would be loyal to their hardworking dealers would be a mistake. I knew a Suzuki dealer who had been loyal to the brand for over 20 years - George White opened in Oxford, supplied by Suzuki despite them knowing it would wreck the existing dealers business overnight,then a few months later GW decided to close the new outlet down as, guess what.. it wasn't making any money. Perrys know how to sell cars at low prices, very used to tight margins so they dipped their toes in the bike business and opened a new Honda dealership, 18 months later and a quarter of a million pounds poorer they shut the business down.

I know of 4 independant dealers who have recently closed, couldn't wait to get out of the business, wished they'd done it a few years ago - a radical change in the motorcycle business is needed otherwise there won't be any decent dealers left.
20/01/2012 at 23:28
Really sorry to here that, bought a bike from Swindon and they were really great , pat was the name of the salesman couldn't do enough to help. Been back a few times since and to the launch down south, best of luck to all the guys and gals who lost their jobs
21/01/2012 at 11:43
As a long time motorcycle shop owner and ex sales representitive for a few major brands im happy!!!!

WHY?? Because when the motorcycle industry starts selling its self short and retail outlets start selling equipment for less than the "cost" price its only going to end one way!! Sadly GW hasnt just closed its self down but its taken many many other shops with it....

Has your local dealer or dealers closed in the last few years???? It was more than likely that GW was to blame... Blunt but very true... We all want value for money in our equipment but the stack it high sell it cheap approach doesnt work in our world, just look at how poor the quality is with such brands as say Alpinestars they are a shadow of there forma self as everything is now made to a budget.. Normally LOW !!!
22/01/2012 at 12:21
i paid for a ern6 on wed teatime at the swindon branch tryed to speak with someone but no luck. hope somebody will sort something out tommoz.i was contacted on wed morn by danny but was at work and rang back later that day were he quite happiley took the outstanding balance out of my bank account. you cant tell me he didnt know something was going on then .thanks mate!
22/01/2012 at 16:07
It it shame that this large employer closed down as roles in the bike trade few and far between. I have worked in "the trade", for Carnells and then an indepedent

The Carnell method proved that this business model does not work. When there we could buy new bikes at full cost price. This included the bike, putting it through the workshop, fuel, tax, PDI etc. A ZX6R 636 worked out at around £5500, pretty good for a brand new bike (with no mark up,no profit), then a few days latter we had a meeting with branch manager saying that new ZX6r would be retailed for £4999OTR at least a net loss of £500 per bike. On the first saturday we sold out, over 15 bikes -£7500. times that by 10 shops -£75000 IN ONE DAY. We new that the compnany would get reg and sales bonus from Kawasaki but to take such a huge hit I could see that I was doomed.

The Honda dealer did it properly, made good margins on their bikes and would not sell bikes for no money, it was pointless.
23/01/2012 at 12:31
I remember George Whites when he actually ran the business in Manchester Road, Swindon. Bikes jammed in with good customer care and personal service. What looks to have happened is someone had taken over the business with not really knowing how to run a good personal care that bikers were used to.
We all get carried away with discount and bargains but sometimes at a cost to the smaller businesses and quality.
It is sad to see that some people who have just bought bikes etc may never see them.G
I got to see the old staff on a regular basis and it is sad to see these people losing their jobs in the current climate.
Perhaps a case of a business growing to big for its own good.
How many more will go?
23/01/2012 at 13:03
If all dealers were required to sell new motorcycles at the manufacturer's price, as is the case with Triumph, we wouldn't see any cut-price traders like Whites (and Motorcycle City - remember them?) who simply ruin the business for everyone else.

George White was said to be making almost nothing on the sale of a new bike, relying on the manufaturer's bonus for reaching a sales target and any extras, like leathers and helmets, to make a profit. As soon as the market began to shrink they were struggling.

In the long run nobody is a winner here, certainly not the customer who suffers shoddy after-sales, sees the demise of all the smaller bike shops and is then left with nothing, nor the staff who's jobs are lost, not to mention all the creditors of George White who are left with money owing and no chance of payment..
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