Walmart buys Spesh? Let's speculate!

The most fun bike industry rumor of the week…Walmart buys Spesh. Like all the best rumors this one makes just enough sense to keep the conversation going…

If it is true in any regard it’s probably more true that Walton family members provided some capital. Not that Walmart actually jumped in. I just think it’s funny to think about going down to Sam’s club and buying an Allez. Either way, it’s better than Specialized going belly up.

But I want to stress this is the most abject rumor-mongering. Just something that’s fun to speculate about on a Friday morning.

I HATE Walmart for what they did to local businesses, but I fully support what the grandsons do for our sport. If they want to spend all that money on the cycling industry, I’ll be clapping for them.

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Yeah, I don’t know that I’d be super pumped to see a Walmart/Spesh integration…but I sure as heck think an interested party with the correct attitude and a little bit of scratch could do beautiful things with Spesh, Bentonville, and US cycling.

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You can hate the outcome, but it hard to fault a company/person for seeing the future and executing on it before others. Same thing can be said for Amazon. Or the automotive companies when they switched from people to robots welding cars. It’s like hating GE for launching the electric fridge and putting the ice companies out of business. Sure it sucked for the ice companies, but companies must adapt and innovate or they eventually die.

And yeah, all you have to do is ride around bentonville and see what many millions of $'s can do to build cycling culture. I don’t know too much about the Walton kids/grandkids, but at least some of their fortune is being well spent. Crystal Bridges museum is pretty amazing as well.

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In my mind customers and communities can decide. I read a book on Walmart decades ago, and if one thinks about “everyday low prices” and what it means to deliver on that, I respect what they do. That doesn’t mean I shop there, but I understand their primary driving value.

I fault them for killing almost every small town local store by promoting “buy American” until you’ve killed all the local businesses and then replacing everything with “lowest bidder” materials and minimum wage jobs. Not sure if you’re old enough to remember all that, but I definitely remember when it was patriotic to shop there because “made in America”. Did they make zillions? Absolutely. Did they do it by ruining thousands of small town economies that still haven’t come close to recovering? Absolutely.

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Sing it with me

:microphone:

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Not Walmart, but Walton’s Equity Group, the same one that bought Rapha.

Very different animal from Walmart, but maybe look to Rapha for what the future could look like?

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Ha. I was expecting south park or something

People really need to emphasize the difference between Walmart and the Walton heirs…they are NOT the same thing (not directed at @Brennus )

It was the same thing when they bought Rapha and investedin Allied…“Oh, Walmart bought Rapha!!” NO, they didn’t.

And then you guys like this saying “I can’t say much becuase it would be spreading rumors…” but then goes on the basically only spread rumors. WTAF?

I seriously doubt Walmart is buying Specialized…it makes zero sense for either company. It would literally be the death knell for the brand in the IBD and the only reason it would have value for Walmart is because it was an IBD brand. (Ask me how I know :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Now, is the Walton Bros investment group sniffing around? I have no idea, not have I heard anything. To some degree, it makes sense…Synyard is getting older (and has already stepped down as CEO a few years ago), AFAIK there is no family heir involved in the business and I am sure they are in a tight place financially.

Dunno…we’ll see soon enough, I guess.

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lol well look at his channel, he clearly knows he gets 10x the views when he talks about industry news than when he makes a video actually related to doing anything with a bike.

Cant remember the last time I set foot in a wally world. Been YEARS since I used amazon.

I know I’m one of the few.

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Well I’m not totally without blame…people would be less inclined to click on a ‘Walton’s extend preferred equity capital to Specialzed’ headline, but everybody knows Walmart. And I wanted to hear what everybody had to say.

Unless they think that 32mm tires outperform 28mm tires on a mid-depth rim. Then, they should keep it to themselves. :laughing:

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I’m not going to claim they outperform w/o my own testing, it’s all about not getting beat up. And happy someone tested different tire sizes on my 35mm external front and 32c tires were fastest. If I really cared about performance guess I’d need $4500 Zipp NSW wheels and 25c tires? Don’t think Wally World is going to carry those wheels :call_me_hand:

OK, hate walmart for their approach and marketing, but you can’t really think they beat local businesses because of their “buy american” marketing. They won because they reinvented the consumer supply chain and made everything significantly cheaper and provided more choices for consumers. It they didn’t do it, someone else would have. The consumer supply chain prior to walmart was an inefficient disaster. Amazon reinvented the consumer supply chain again and now companies (including walmart) are playing catch up again or dying. Good or bad, progress and charge are inevitable. You can blame the company “driving the bus”, but the bus is gonna eventually roll even if you stop one of the drivers for a while. Sure, the gov’t can step in and protect pockets of business for a time, but that is just delaying the inevitable.

This is kind of like saying “So what if he cheated, if he didn’t someone else would have”.

We can say that about ANYTHING. “Who cares if Booth shot Lincoln, it’s not like he wasn’t going to eventually die anyway”.

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OK, point taken if you are trying to compare a murderer to the guy who was basically the Henry Ford of the modern consumer supply chain. You and I clearly live in worlds with different colored skies. Good to have different perspectives.

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I’m sure there are plenty of dead small business owners who lost everything. There are certainly plenty of dead small towns. On that, let’s agree to disagree and move on. Cheers.

Uh oh. But then again I’m not a Specialized fan to start with so meh.