Bike shop closing

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by zipp2001, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. zipp2001

    zipp2001 Well-Known Member

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    Been going to Gear Works Cyclery for the last 21 years as my main shop. Gene and the crew have always been nothing but the best in the region. Only have a few more weeks to roll in their after work before the doors are closed at months end. I've always been a supporter of the local shops and don't like the way the industry is going. This is the third shop in the region to close in the last few years, one had been around for over 75 years. When I rode in today it's getting pretty bare, check it out. Thanks Gene !
     
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  2. Dilof

    Dilof New Member

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    Nice video. I've always been to the same guy on the little corner shop down the road from my house. I've never been to another bike shop aside from his and I've never really felt the need to, they just seem to genuinely love bikes instead of being employed by a major brand. They also give great advice on what bikes to ride for what terrains.
     
  3. zipp2001

    zipp2001 Well-Known Member

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    I have a really small husband and wife shop about 15 miles away. I've been to them often, but Gear Works always had what I needed in stock. The smaller shop didn't have many parts in stock , so thing always have to be ordered. I guess I'll have to plan a little for parts now when using the small shop.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Nice video, Gene! Your rods are as craptastic as Ohio's and Skillet sounded good.
     
  5. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Awesome video! It's always sad when a bike shop closes down, especially one which has given cyclists such great service and choice. I guess it's the state of the economy which is making it harder for smaller businesses to stay afloat. More people are also ordering their goods online, which only makes things tougher for retailers.
     
  6. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm not very good with mechanical things and can be rough with my equipment at times....I've use 3-4 shops in a little less than a year of cycling. To put it bluntly, shops can be too expensive and not worth it for many. For example, I went to a shop needing a new bike chain. The guy pulls out a box with dusty packages of chains, the cost was $15 more than a new one. If you think about it in that context alone, its not worth it.....On the other hand, I bought a helmet from his shop the previous week and had a great conversation. The guy use to race and was telling me how he use to be a solid sprinter. We talked about interval training, nerves when bombing downhills and weight in relation to hill climbs. I am not rich, but I don't mind paying a little extra for a story or two.

    The shops also coordinate all of the local bike tours, sponsor teams, and promote bike awareness. Bike maintenance at shops can be costly, but the less mechanical inclined and new to the sport (including myself) need these services.
    These are things that Nashbar and Biketiresdirect can't provide you. I can't afford to buy everything in shops, but do my shopping there often enough. No way i'm buying a jersey for 100 in a shop that I can get for 27 online, but its important to support local shops when you can.
     
  7. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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    Really nice video there! Nothing like being on the road... I loved your comments, like wind is making me work here, nothing like cycling to fully understand that. :)
     
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    Sadly I think the traditional bikes shops as we know them are on the verge of becoming extinct. Here in the UK where I am, we used to have 2 independent bike shops that were family owned and run but both of them have gone now aswell.

    I think the internet as played a big part, but they also said with the major supermarkets selling bikes these days, they simply couldn't compete with the prices the large stores offered.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My post above: rods. = roads. Duh.

    I always lament the closing of a decent bike store. Performance closed an area store a couple years ago and despite the sales people being pretty clueless, I still miss the convenience of swinging by there and picking up what I needed.

    There was only one store that shut down over the last 45 years that was not missed by anyone. The owner was a Grade 'A' jerk, mean and a royal pain to deal with. Yeah, the shop was high end and he carried the best stuff, but no one put up with his crap more than once.

    The other shops that closed are remembered fondly.
     
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    It's the people in the shops that I think I missed the most when the shops closed down around here. Considering they had been in the bike business for as long as thryvhad, they weren't exactly experts but they'd bend over backwards to help.

    They'd order anything and everything you asked for, if you got a puncture or a mechanical problem they'd come out and fix it for you for free sometimes, it was all part of the service.

    Now the only stores we have are the ones you walk into and a salesguy strolls over trying to sell you a new £1200 bike when all you've gone in for is a bulb because your front light isn't working.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    A lot of mom and pop stores closed when Walmart came into town, but some survived, why? They adapted. How? by offering better customer service, but expanding their lines to include niche products and services that Walmart would not sell or offer, which includes selling harder to get and better quality stuff. The same is true with hardware stores when the big box stores came into town, yet there are small ma and pa hardware stores doing just fine with a big box store just down the street.

    I know a lot of LBS's that are not having any problems selling in this new world order of the cycling world. One of them years ago had the foresight and started to sell Running gear, Skiing equipment, Kayaks, Climbing gear, Rollerblades and boards, Fishing equipment, and Swimming gear, and then offering better quality stuff and hard to find stuff like I mentioned earlier. Another LBS in the town where I now live hasn't moved in that direction yet but is crowded with patrons most days and isn't even remotely considering throwing in the towel.

    If a LBS throws in the towel today it's because either they don't have the business sense to change to succeed, or they just don't want to and really didn't have much success all the years they were in business anyways and barely stayed above water, maybe their customer service wasn't all that great and over time the word traveled and now it haunts them into oblivion, or there are more bike shops then needed for the area. Don't read into any of that and tell people here that I'm saying that Gear Works is a bad place, they could be a great place with great customer service, I don't know I never did business with them nor live in the area to hear what others think, just listing possible reasons is all I'm doing.

    I do know that in that area there are 9 other LBS's, that's a lot of bike shops in an area where only a bit over 40,000 people live; by comparison I live in an area of with 253,000 people and this city only has 4! I think the problem with your area is probably over saturation of bike shops thus the weak will fade away and the strong will survive.

    All I hear from failing LBS's is them whining about how the industry has changed, what they're really saying is that the internet has taken away their business and now they can't succeed which is BS. What you scream? that's not true you scream? Really? read this: http://nbda.com/articles/industry-overview-2014-pg34.htm As of the end of the 2014 year the LBS segment of the industry controls 50% of the dollars which is huge compared to any other form of retailer. so who controls the rest? The internet stores? nope, in fact in that overview I posted internet sales are listed as "other" which are responsible for only 2.5% of the dollars...the smallest amount of any other form of retailer. And the reason LBS's close is due mostly to consolidation which is why yours is closing because there are too many bike shops in that small of an area, yet after your LBS closes the sales of bikes and accessories for that area will remain the same except there be one less store to share the proceeds with which means the survivors will make a little bit more money.

    Sorry to see your store go but someone had to go and your LBS couldn't hold out any longer so yours went first.
     
  12. zipp2001

    zipp2001 Well-Known Member

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    The bike shop in my region is the 3rd to close in the last few years. That will leave one very small husband & wife shop left that carry only one bike brand, serving a population of around 105,000 people. The lone surviving shop used to have 3 other shops throughout the region. Several of those shops did more than just bikes, they did ski equipment, exercise equipment, and stuff like that. Our region also hosted the second oldest cycling race in the US (The Longsjo) but over the last 5 or so years I have seen far less riders on the roads. I can go out for weeks at a time and not see any riders on the road compared to years past when I would see riders on every ride.
    The one thing when talking to the shop owner who just closed that I though didn't help him, was his refusal to tap into the tri market. I marshal for a tri series and have watched this market continue to grow in the region. This market has a very wide age range and I see a very high number of females taking up this sport. Being a bike guy I also see the equipment that these people are using and it is on the upper level. The shop owner stated to me that he didn't want to deal with tri customers because of some bad experience he had in the past. I do think that if he was a little more diverse he would still be in business.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned why the shops in your area can't survive, fewer riders. That's sad but America is not a huge cycling country. On any given day I can ride down a bike path in town and I may encounter a dozen riders, and I rarely see a cyclist riding on the bike lanes. Cycling just isn't that big of deal in most areas of America except maybe in Davis California. I even spent 7 days in Minneapolis this last week which is suppose to be the number one city in the USA for the number of cyclist...I saw one cyclist on a bike lane the whole 7 days, none on bike paths; sure it was cool but so what? One day it got to 54 still no riders...that was the day I saw the one.

    My city has a TRI shop and they do pretty well, they sell all the stuff a TRI person needs.
     
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of the independent cycle ships have had to try and diversify but it hasn't been easy for them. I think to say they've closed down because they was unwilling to put up a fight is a little harsh though because most of the time, as with any business it's about profit projection.

    If you're bank wants to know if it's going to get its money back for example, and you've been making a loss over a period of time since the big store opened, sometimes the shops aren't even given the chance to try and turn things around.
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You didn't read my post very well, I said put up a fight against competition which takes on various forms. There were other reasons for why a company would go out of business, and in this case I think, notice the words "I think", there were too many LBS's for the population in that area. Obviously without being there and knowing the area and how the business was ran I'm just guessing by what I learned from their website about the closing and then looking up the geographics of the area. The area was over saturated with bike shops and this particular bike shop didn't offer anything unusual that the others didn't offer to make it stand out from the crowd. So in some aspects this was about not changing its market to compete against the competition. Again just speculation.

    I've had two businesses,one I had for 25 years (which I sold) and my current one which is unrelated to the first one, and the new one is about 6 years old. I sort of understand some of this, maybe not an expert for sure, but both businesses were and are successful so I understand enough to make myself successful, and thus understand the stresses of competition and product demand among other things.
     
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually quiet surprised that your businesses have lasted that long if you speak to your customers face to face in that condescending manner. Then again I guess its a lot easier to do that from sat behind a monitor or keyboard.

    On that note I think I'll leave this thread where it is. I come here to interact with other members, not to be talked down to. I've given my opinion, I've heard yours now move on.
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Om\\
    I was never condescending but if thinking that I was makes you happy then so be it.
     
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