The guys over at Big Shot Bikes have been around for a few years selling affordable custom fixed gear bikes on their website http://www.bigshotbikes.com direct to consumer. When I first met them it was at Dealer Camp in Park City, UT where they were taking their distribution model to a new level and they were there pitching their "fixies" to bike shops. The next time I saw them was at Interbike where they were doing more of the same and were obviously trying to step up their game and get into more bike shops.
The problem with a direct to consumer brand like Big Shot Bikes is that they offer a ton of customization on their website that they couldn't possibly offer a dealer in terms of models/colors/sizes that the dealer could realistically expect to stock. I'm sure this posed a problem for Big Shot while they were out pitching to shops. My guess is shops were hesitant to bring in their bikes and basically act as a show room for a few Big Shot models where a consumer could get a basic idea of what Big Shot Bikes had to offer, then simply go purchase a pimped out version of their bike at home online.
Well I think Big Shot listened. They have started installing Big Shot Kiosks at shops around the country where if you don't like what you see on the shop floor, you can simply hop on the kiosk, customize your fixie, and have it delivered directly to the shop. This is a super smart concept and something that nobody else in the bike industry is doing. It's basically like a Dell model for bikes only rather than simply going direct, you're involving the bike shop in the process. Super smart idea guys!
Check out http://www.bigshotbikes.com for more info.