LOCKITT.COM got its start in 1999 when founder Pat Denayer took his lock business on the road, where he would set up shop at a different motorcycle event every weekend. From Sturgis to Daytona, Denayer native sold his wares, a sales craft he learned while running a lock distribution company in his native Belgium.
Since then, the small online retailer — which has a showroom in Fletcher, N.C., near Asheville — has evolved into a sort of boutique lock importer and seller that also carries tie downs, heated clothing, luggage, motorcycle electrics and other specialty items.
Now, Denayer has launched a dealer program — offerings for powersports retailers who want to offer what he calls “high-price, high-quality” products for consumers who don’t want the same old stuff. “I thought, there has to be dealers out there who would like to offer something else than run-of-the-mill product,” he said. Indeed, the company's website claims, “we only sell the stuff we like.”
We caught up with Denayer to find out a little more.
Dealernews: What are some of the brands that you’re bringing into the U.S.?
Denayer: Lockitt Group Inc. imports Protector chains from the U.K., Grip-Lock from New Zealand and ABUS from Germany. We also are SafemanUSA , the exclusive importer for the Safeman All-Round helmet and gear lock.
Why the focus on high-price, high-quality locks and security products?
Denayer: One of the things that personally bothers me about the U.S. market is that everything is always about price first, then quality. It is a mentality that keeps driving prices and margins down and ultimately quality suffers. In security products, low quality is obviously a problem. The lock market is flooded with junk these days, so I decided my focus had to be on the other end.
How can dealerships benefit from carrying items like these?
Denayer: Our products are not going to be for everyone. A dealer who is interested only in easy, quick bucks is not our customer. But I do believe that a dealer can benefit from selling a high-quality product. It pays back in customer satisfaction which translates in the best advertising of all — word of mouth.
What makes you different from others that are operating in this space?
Denayer: Nobody really does what we do. Take the Protector chains, for instance. The chain is produced in Europe [and] shipped to our partner in the U.K. where it is heat-treated to precise specifications. Every single batch is tested and then shipped to us in relatively small quantities. We then pair the chains with the best possible locks available. We care more about quality than we do about increasing our margins by sourcing from China. (continued)