Q&A: Juliet Scott-Croxford, North American President of Brompton
A version of this article appeared in the November issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.
NEW YORK (BRAIN) – Juliet Scott-Croxford was recently hired by London-based Brompton to serve as President of North America as part of the company’s 50% unit sales growth in the United States over the past year during the cycling boom and 76% from 2019.
The brand now sells more than 70,000 bicycles worldwide each year.
Brompton is expanding its presence in North America after increased demand at its New York store and regional retailers that include REI Co-op and the launch of an e-commerce storefront. According to Brompton, the majority of new global users since the COVID-19 pandemic are women.
Scott-Croxford, formerly CEO of Worth Magazine, will focus on building a team and corporate culture that supports the company’s goal of âUrban Freedom for Happier Livesâ. In October, she took the time to answer questions from BRAIN about its plans to expand the U.S. market from Brompton.
BRAIN: Do you feel like you’re getting on board at the right time, with the industry in the midst of a buying boom and creating political momentum in the United States to get more people to ride a bike? ?
Juliette Scott-Croxford: Absoutely! It is an extraordinary time for the industry and also for cities across America as they rethink the role they play in sustainable living and mobility. We see the cycling boom continue and we still expect new cyclists to stick with cycling after the pandemic.
BRAIN: On the other hand, does it result in more pressure to seize the moment and less time to adjust to your role?
JSC: It certainly makes it more interesting! Fortunately, we have a brilliant product, which we know from many years of engineering and development is of high quality and people want it as a tool to live happier lives. This means that I need to listen and learn quickly, but I am fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of people – employees, dealers, customers and ambassadors who have a lot of knowledge, know well the brand and who can help me.
BRAIN: How did your experience as CEO of Worth magazine prepare you for this latest endeavor?
JSC: Building an engaged community around a brand and how to build and motivate a team in a virtual world, as well as learn to roll with the punches. Worth has also given me a good understanding of the American market as well as a brilliant network of people across the United States from civic leaders and businesses to social entrepreneurs who I know will be of value. invaluable to our growth.
BRAIN: It was written in the press release announcing your hiring that you will be responsible for leading the next phase of growth in North America? Can you say what this will entail?
JSC: North America is a strategic market for Brompton, so my main focus is growth, and with that, building brand awareness, engaging our community, and having the right capacity and infrastructure to operate as an omnichannel distributor. .
BRAIN: How long have you been with Worth and what sparked your interest in the opportunity at Brompton?
JSC: I was at Worth for three years and this was my second turnaround and digital transformation that I had done – the first with Guardian News and Media. I wanted to learn from these two roles and apply them in a growing industry for a goal-driven brand. The Brompton community is incredibly engaged and they have a deep sense of connection to our product. The way we build and deepen our relationship with the community has definitely piqued my interest as well as the fact that it’s a cool product with a focus on a sustainable lifestyle.
BRAIN: You are now a female executive in an industry dominated by white men. Over the past year, the bicycle industry has made DEI a major focus. What do you think of the industry’s current position on this issue?
JSC: I think there’s a long way to go, but it’s great that the industry recognizes the importance and the gap and makes DEI a priority. Sadly, the pandemic has set back women and minorities, especially women of color. More than two million women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic; yet we have a talent shortage, which is both a national and corporate emergency that requires action, collaboration and leadership in all industries. Parity leaders and âadvocatesâ must recognize and address the challenges. (They must) adjust things like company policies, tackle prejudices – conscious or unconscious depending on factors like visibility – overstep and adjust company work and family leave policies or flexible working arrangements, and connect with the talents of your company, creating hiring policies and practices that bring back women and under-represented groups.
BRAIN: Brompton has had increasing demand in its New York store and from retail partners like REI Co-op. Did you manage to follow? If not, what can you do to help?
JSC: Demand has certainly exceeded supply across all of our sales channels, but we are in a better position than some thanks to our in-house manufacturing based in London and a large stock of parts, which built up before Brexit. Each of these points has enabled us to overcome short-term supply shortages and maintain production despite the various challenges posed by COVID-19.
BRAIN: How have supply chain issues and freight delays affected Brompton?
JSC: A huge sum! Everything from ordering parts to production plans, cash flow, speed and what we can deliver to our consumers and dealers have been affected. We have adapted our processes accordingly and continue to monitor them on a daily basis. The supply chain remains our number one challenge.
BRAIN: Brompton recently launched an e-commerce storefront. Was it successful?
JSC: We have experienced tremendous growth thanks to the launch of e-commerce and have learned a lot in the process. We also offer consumers the option to click and collect from their local reseller. Optimizing our e-commerce channel will remain one of our top priorities and we anticipate further growth next year as well as growth across all of our sales channels.
BRAIN: Brompton plans to launch its second branded store in the United States later this year, with two more slated for next year. Do you see these stores and your e-commerce presence eventually severing relationships with retailers?
JSC: In short, no. We focus on omnichannel, and dealers play an important role in providing the best local knowledge and services. We need to track the buying behavior and habits of our consumers, who are increasingly online and brand-centric. We know full well that many existing and potential Brompton riders will have a preferred local retailer just as some will want the convenience of ordering online and some will want the experience of connecting with the bike, the brand and the community through our stores. headlights.
BRAIN: Sustainability is a hot topic among many brands. What has Brompton done or plan to do to operate more sustainably?
JSC: Our goal is not only to sell bikes, but also to support the transformation of urban America over the next 10 to 20 years. Sustainability and our role in micromobility to reduce carbon emissions is an integral part of this. The change within the company to operate more sustainably has included the launch of a battery recycling program as well as a return-to-base program for warranty parts on our e-bikes, and there is still a lot of work to do here. Overall, however, Brompton has always taken a buy better no-buy approach to our product by focusing on producing a bike that delivers lifelong value.
BRAIN: Are you a cyclist, and if so, what is your favorite discipline i.e. road, mountain, commuter, other?
JSC: Commuter for convenience and road for relaxation, freedom and to spend time with my brother when I am back in the UK.