The rough world of the LBS


Robert Dole

Two articles in the Chicago Tribune today about Schwinn's strategy and
the difficult world of the LBS:

Schwinn giving small dealers an uphill climb
0403080214mar08,1,329664.story March 8, 2004 By Judith Crown
/ Special to the Tribune When Schwinn Bicycle started
selling bikes to Wal-Mart, Target and other chain stores two
years ago, Palatine dealer Mikes Bikes decided to stick with
the historic brand. For this spring, however, the store
hasn't ordered any Schwinns and now plans to...

Self-service can be exercise in frustration
0403080213mar08,1,7936440.story March 8, 2004 By Judith
Crown / Special to the Tribune Independent dealers sell only
20 percent of bikes, but earn 40 percent to 50 percent of
the dollars spent. Does this mean it is better to buy at
bike stores or the chains? For kids bikes, the chain store
makes sense if you do not want to spend a lot and...

The first article notes LBS shrinkage: "Industry consultant
Jay Townley... said 375 independent bike shops closed last
year, leaving 4,982. That is 20 percent below the 6,270
shops that were operating in 2000, before the start of the
latest economic downturn."

There's also some interesting comments by local LBS owners
who have adopted different strategies.

The second article deals with a familiar comparison
question: buy at a department store or an LBS?

They are interesting articles. However, free Tribune
registration is required. (note registration from other
Tribune newspapers also works,
e.g. if you are registered for the Orlando Sentinel)

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