As Harley-Davidson and its new CEO Jochen Zeitz fight to right the ship, the more things change, the more they stay the same. After attempting to roll outside its comfort zone and offer new ideas like the LiveWire, the Pan-America, and the Bronx, it’s currently busy retreating back into its hard shell via its Hardwire strategy as of February, 2021.
Whether you think it’s pulling a little too far back is certain a matter for debate. Take, for example, an early February interview that Zeitz did with Bloomberg. At the time, Zeitz said that the Motor Company wants to no longer sell its branded apparel on Amazon.
“We want to have a fully integrated, digital e-commerce business with our dealers,” Amazon [is] not really something that got our dealers into the mix,” Zeitz told Bloomberg.
It’s unclear when this change could occur. As of February 12, 2021, there’s still plenty of Harley-Davidson branded merchandise to be found with a quick Amazon search.
It’s also not clear how things work behind the scenes regarding vendors selling official merchandise via Amazon, and/or what fees may be involved. Presumably, Harley has some control over how items on the mega-retail platform are priced, but why would it want to pay fees if it doesn’t have to?
After all, Harley-Davidson already has its own active and well-established e-commerce presence, where it sells everything from bike parts to apparel and coffee mugs. It also offers free shipping on orders over $50 within the U.S. Additionally, shipping to your local Harley-Davidson dealer for pickup is always free, regardless of your purchase amount.
This particular e-commerce business can involve dealers if customers choose to have their items shipped to a local Harley dealer, or if they visit their local Harley dealer and end up placing an order with the help of a store employee. However, if customers choose to have their merch shipped directly to them, and they do so from the comfort of anywhere that’s not also a Harley dealer, then dealerships have no reason to be involved. Mainly, this seems to just be a way to tighten the reins on its e-commerce business, which is certainly the company’s right.