The hybrid bike store

Part bike shop. Part art gallery. Part cafe. Part showroom. Part clubhouse. If you haven’t been to your LBS lately you may end up thinking WTF the next time you do. For some of the transformations are, frankly, amazing.

Mambo founder Dare Jenning’s did it with motorbikes a decade ago with the outrageously-cool-at-the-time-but-then-it-went-mainstream, Deus ex Machina. Now cycling shops are following suit in big numbers as the scene becomes as much about cycling culture and coffee as it is about the actual riding of bikes.

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Existing bike shops are getting sexy new facelifts everywhere you look, and they’re being joined by new stores with designer fit-outs all the time both in the suburbs, such as Park Bikes in my neck of the woods (Sydney Olympic Park), and also the city.

Within a 3km radius of my current work address in the Sydney CBD, for example, you’ll find newly-renovated stores for Giant, Atelier de Velo, Specialized, Clarence Street Cyclery plus many others (apologies if I’ve left yours out, these are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head). Then there’s the Rapha Cycling Club; the Sydney store in Surry Hills is just one of several that have popped up everywhere from Osaka and London to New York and San Francisco, with no doubt many more to come.

In-store events and race viewings are becoming all the rage too, I wonder what’s next?

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One thought on “The hybrid bike store

  1. I think this will be the way forward for retailers.

    As online sales and online based retailers assert their dominance in the market, the traditional reseller will need to offer something a little more tailored and interactive.

    Specialized retailers have the benefit of the proprietary BG fit system for instance, other retailers have cafes annexed to them, and others focus on a particular culture.

    Your traditional corner store which I grew up with is slowly disappearing. Upsetting, but times change. One particular bike store I practically spent my youth at for instance, now focuses on cheap scooters. I’m 27 and have grown up during a very pivotal point in the retail environment.

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