This scenario is been played out all over the world. Worldwide (and dont let anybody tell you differant) manufacturers are trying to get CLOSER to their customer base, many open concept stores (similar to Adidas, Nike etc here) so that they have their finger on the pulse of whats happening and can showcase all the latest products. SA appears to be moving in totally the opposite direction with distributors doing their level best to not deal with clients ( I crashed and broke an STI some time back, took it to the shop and was told the Shimano distributors only sell pairs not singles) so I phoned coolheat, they treated me like a pariah - so I spent 10 minutes and bought on-line ex USA. Sorry, Steve, but those are the facts - anyway, water under the bridge, the fact is it wont be long before distributors will be forced to sell to clients direct through channels like concept stores or on-line, the local market is in recession and as prices climb customers will look for cheaper alternatives, the attrition in the Cycle business will start comes winter, only the strong businesses like Cajees, Solomans and the like will weather it with a smile, but I predict few other boutique stores will survive. I spend 5 months a year travelling internationally, SA is still clinging to the old supply chain of manufacturer / wholesaler - distributor - retailer, this is as old as the dinosaur, today distributors / wholesalers all over the world are selling direct - I see it happening here sooner rather than later.