December 16, 2018
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Harley-Davidson Opens Amazon Storefront

MILWAUKEE – In a move announced today that’s bound to have a negative impact on its dealers, Harley-Davidson has opened an online store with retail giant Amazon. It’s offering “select Harley-Davidson apparel and riding gear.” Merchandise is available as of today, with two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.

Harley-Davidson expects to reach “hundreds of millions of potential customers” via Amazon, according to a company press release.

“We live in an on-demand, anywhere, anytime business environment where success depends on the ability to meet consumers on their turf and on their terms, “said Heather Malenshek, Harley-Davidson’s senior vice president of marketing and brand.

“The reach Amazon offers is critical to building stronger customer relationships, inspiring new people and creating an integrated online and in-dealership retail experience – all of which leads to profitable growth and a stronger brand.”

Screen shot of Harley-Davidson’s Amazon store

Harley-Davidson has aggressively marketed branded “motor clothes” for decades with accessory departments providing a crucial revenue for dealers, which are limited by the company to only selling obsolete gear online.

Now, the company is taking a high-profile measure in going directly to consumers.

“This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, and we have an opportunity on Amazon to showcase our brand, to grow reach, relevance, and access – and ultimately, the opportunity to bring new riders into our Harley-Davidson family,” said Malenshek.

The “Journal Sentinel” newspaper in Milwaukee said dealers were notified of Harley-Davidson’s partnership with Amazon in a webinar. The company said online prices will be the same as those in dealership and that it will collect sales tax for online sales.

About Bud Wilkinson

An award-winning print and broadcast journalist, Bud Wilkinson writes the RIDE-CT motorcycle column and My Ride vintage car feature for the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. He studied journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. degree. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville.

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