Land Rover owners and mechanics, particularly those who own and work on older vehicles, were shocked to discover last week that the well-respected and popular aftermarket retailer, Bearmach, has thrown in the towel. The company was incorporated on 24 April 1958, originally trading as Bearings and Machinery before the name was changed to Bearmach in June 1991, and the company focused on the wholesale trade of automotive (Land Rover) parts and accessories. The company offices were based in Caerphilly, Wales.
We reached out to senior management for comment and have received no significant response. What we do know is that the website is no longer operational for the purposes of purchases or customer service, and a visitor to the site is greeted with the message, “Bearmach is unable to fulfill your order today.” The Bearmach Community Page website is, however, still available online. A search of the United Kingdom Companies House website reveals that Bearmach was formerly placed under administration (insolvency) on 5 September 2022. This information is backed by various informal sources, from private customers to stockists.
While the company, whose headquarters we toured in 2017, held a vast array of stock in a modern and well-managed warehouse, it appears that there were retail and marketing as well as distribution challenges (the company supplied customers in 165 countries). These challenges may well have been surmountable had it not been for the financial strain suffered by individuals and the knock-on effect on the global economy as a whole throughout the pandemic. As recently as 2020, Bearmach won the E-commerce Business of the Year at the Welsh Business Awards. Bearmach traditionally operated as a wholesaler and for decades sold exclusively into the trade market before opening an online retail channel in 2017.
Bearmach will be missed by companies and enthusiasts alike as a reliable supplier of over 18,000 parts, generally of an excellent price and high quality. While Bearmach-branded stock, which came with a three-year warranty, is still currently available via online retailers such as Rimmer Brothers, Paddocks Spares, and physical stores internationally, it is foreseeable that this stock will eventually be replaced by the remaining aftermarket parts suppliers such as Britpart and All Makes (both owned by Border Holdings UK LTD) as well as the OEM supplier, Land Rover. It is also foreseeable that the remaining Bearmach stock will be sold on auction and retailed directly or rebranded and retailed via a larger outlet if no investors resuscitate the brand.
With less competition in the market, the price of aftermarket parts may rise, with or without a parallel rise in quality.
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