It's not about the Internet, magazines, or finding the most stylish glossy bike or that set of high-tech wheels, or even the lightest components. It about business and who is the (100kg) heavy weights.
Desptie conventional wisdom, not every roadie wants to ride Lance’s bike. The very success (and don’t get me wrong, technical excellence, too) of monolithic brands creates increased cachet for boutique brands & products. Sure, it’s cool to show up on the Sunday morning ride with a new Tarmac SL. But it’s so muchcooler to show up on a BMC SLT 01. Ditto on the offroad side, of course. And the same goes for fixies, commuters, 29ers, e-bikes; helmets, shoes, wheels, pedals…you name it.
3.2 The same process opens up new and exciting opportunities for retailers as well i.e. WN, etc...
WN has dealers coming to train and that is exciting and that opens up more options for the customers! You don't have to be told what you have to sell.
3.3 Ditto for equipment, although to a lesser extent, since equipment suppliers can sell in more (or even all) locations.
4. The “A” Brands (and retailers) aren’t going away. But neither can they be all things to all cyclists.
4.1 Even in a shrinking market, there are still about 3,000 specialty bike retailers in the USA. And less than half of them sell either Specialized or Trek.
Again, many of these smaller retailers are smart, savvy, financially sound businesspeople (they have to be— a contracting market already killed off the dumb ones years ago.