One link in the chain: Vancouver's independent bicycle dealers in the context of the globalized bicycle production network

Author/s: Darcy McCord

Creation date: 2013

Contact info: dmccord@sfu.ca

Senior supervisor: Peter V. Hall

Keywords: bicycle industry, independent retailers, global production networks, local consumers, embeddedness

Geographic focus: Vancouver, BC; British Columbia; Canada

Research question/s: How has the shift to a global production network in the bicycle industry impacted independent bicycle dealers (IBDs) in Vancouver and how do they remain competitive within the governance model of the bicycle production network?

Significance

Despite the global nature of the bicycle production network, the need for strong connections at the local scale remains persistent. This research investigates the ways that independent bicycle dealers in Vancouver act as the connecting point between the globalized production network and local consumer cultures, and proposes that this connection contributes to the ongoing relevance of local IBDs. The work is a meaningful contribution to understanding the importance of local actors within globalized production networks.

Findings

The author found that independent bicycle dealers' connection with local consumers is a key basis for competition. This connection enhances the importance of local dealers within a globalized production network, despite a broader retail landscape characterized by consolidation of mass merchants.