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HomeNEWSM&P adds BMW to its growing Swansea motorcycle village

M&P adds BMW to its growing Swansea motorcycle village

The BMW showroom which forms part of a £1.8 million investment by online retailer M&P – first revealed by BDN – is to open at Swansea in nine days’ time. As we reported in August last year, the motorcycle sales, clothing and parts specialist is expanding its motorcycle retailing arm at its Swansea base – where is has dealerships for Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, KTM and Husqvarna road bikes, plus Can-Am and is in the process of adding Honda, MV Agusta and BMW – and is to open a second Harley-Davidson operation plus a second M&P retail shop in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff.

The Swansea BMW operation is housed in a new 12,000 sq.ft building which will officially open on Saturday, 6 April. It is located on Phoenix Way, Garngoch, next to the firm’s existing Honda franchise and opposite their main building housing Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio Group, Harley-Davidson and Can-Am machines, as well as spares, products and more.

Known as ‘Swansea Motorrad’, an open day will be held from 9am to 5pm on the Saturday, followed by a ride-out the next day.

The dealership will house a wide range of new and used BMW motorcycles and anyone purchasing a machine on the open day will receive £150 of M&P vouchers. Those wishing to register for the ride should call 01792 224471, or sign-up during the open day itself.

What’s more, visitors can also enjoy free food and refreshments, as well as a prize draw and music from local Swansea radio station, The Wave, which will host its show live from the dealership from 10am to 2pm.

Speaking about the launch, Jamie Trollope, Swansea Motorrad Brand Manager, said: “We’re excited to bring BMW Motorrad to Swansea to offer new and used bikes in and around the town.

In August, founder and MD Mark Collings said: “You have got to be in it to win it. You either sit back and wait for everybody to overtake you or you invest in the future and you become stronger.”

UK-wise, M&P is best known for its 40-year-old mail order business, and that is also on the receiving end of investment, with a new website in the offing and an upgraded computer system. A second technology upgrade will benefit the bike sales operation.

Collings says the investment – £1m now, rising to £1.8m on completion – is designed to grow the business. “Turnover should be about £14m this year. Our aim is to be somewhere between £20m and £25m within the next three years.”

M&P employs 86 people but this is expected to rise to around 110 once the new showrooms open.

“When we are finished, all our franchises will have individual showrooms,” said Collings. “The Swansea workshop will be segregated for the separate brands and there will be one shared pdi centre.”

The investment involves 12,000sq.ft of new single-storey showroom space on a site facing the existing operation; the workshop will be 5000sq.ft and the pdi centre 3000sq.ft, taking the Swansea operation to a total of 62,000sq.ft. Cardiff would add a further 14,000sq.ft – comprising a 7000sq.ft Harley-Davidson showroom with 2000sq.ft workshop and a 5000sq.ft M&P shop.

When finished, the investment will take the number of M&P franchises to eight.

“It’s important to have multiple franchises, in my opinion. If you have got a bigger selection it makes the site worth visiting and you just attract more people. The more people you can get to visit the site, the more customers you are going to get. Bikers get all dressed up and want somewhere to go – a ride-out destination, somewhere to meet up on a Sunday, so we are upgrading our café, selling coffee and patisseries and an essential part of the future, and opening a barber’s and a tattoo parlour.”

“Clothing sales for us are excellent,” said Collings, who was also upbeat about online sales, which “had seen growth every year”. Competition from discounters abroad was not a problem, he said.

Collings founded the business in 1978 with a mail order catalogue.

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