How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

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mnichols
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How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby mnichols » 10 Feb 2015, 9:48pm

Everyday when I switch my computer on and check my emails, or just visit a web page I am bombarded with offers of cycling stuff at prices that just seem staggering low

Today I was offered a Selle saddle for £11.99 delivered. Last week a genuine Santini cycling top for £4.99, and race quality Giant bib shorts for £14.99. Before Xmas I picked up a full ultegra groupset for £275 (triple). I've recently seen top quality wheels reduced from £700 to £199. Poundland sell bike wash for, well I forget the price, but cheap. Online shops are offering 40% and 50% off 2014 bikes, the list goes on and on, it's seems like we are in the middle of a price war

Some of the online retailers are offering free 365 no quibell returns, and that's not to mention Decathalon, LIDL, ALDI, Halfords, Amazon, ebay, etc, etc

I try to support my LBS as much as possible, but by way of an example I know I can get the tyres I want £20 cheaper each online - that's a £40 difference, just for 2 tyres

How can the LBS shop compete?

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 10 Feb 2015, 10:50pm

Hi,
When I decided to teach myself 3D cad (3D computer modelling) I spoke with a number of engineering firms who were thinking of making the jump from Electronic Draughfting (AutoCAD) to 3D.
I said thinking.........................then they went bust.
The Media rant every day like they just discovered the wheel when they talk about some technology that some high street shop is using, but Argos has been using for ten years or more....................actually started in 2001..........................

Even now a lot of people go to the shops and shop without a single thought for online shopping............

A lot of firms have been caught with their trousers down.......

What would you do if you were running a shop :?:

My local LBS is pants :!:
Several trips there left me cold and it was like walking into a bookies with fag in mouth................nobody would notice you.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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gaz
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby gaz » 10 Feb 2015, 11:01pm

mnichols wrote:How can the LBS shop compete?

The internet cannot service or repair a bicycle. It cannot assemble a bike that arrives in a box, nor can it attach parts from a box to a bike.

The internet can provide things next day but not right here, right now.

Even so I've no idea how an LBS can compete.
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

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horizon
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby horizon » 10 Feb 2015, 11:03pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,

What would you do if you were running a shop :?:



1. Move round the corner away from the High Street.
2. Go on line
3. Find myself a niche
4. Operate from my shed
5. Operate from a van
6. Go on Facebook
7. Do repairs but upsell products
8. Go on a marketing course

Have I mentioned move off the hight street and go on-line?
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

SteveHunter
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby SteveHunter » 10 Feb 2015, 11:09pm

I went to my most local LBS as needed some spare inner tubes. They had run out of ones in my size 700cc x 25. Oh dear....

The good shops will survive, the bad ones will disappear. I still prefer going in a bike shop and I have bought all my bikes in proper bike shops, or secondhand but always in person.

I have a couple of good local shops within about a 10 mile radius so I can use them but I buy most little stuff online now as there is a better selection and the price is usually better.

I would prefer to use the local bike shop but it's hard to find a good reason why beyond loyalty.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 10 Feb 2015, 11:48pm

I would say there is great cachet to be had in being a LBS. I think the key is to avoid bike/parts/accessories retail. Servicing is where the money is relatively speaking. Also moving to a cycling cybercafe model. where you can get bike fixed ,have a coffee, and surf the net while you wait is a great idea. I see plenty of potential but not in the traditional model.

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Jeckyll_n_Snyde
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Jeckyll_n_Snyde » 11 Feb 2015, 2:59am

As per post title...."with difficulty" IMO..... loyalty doesn't pay the bills and money (or a bargain) talks as the old saying goes...pubs are dropping like flies apparently form some statistic i read recently; talking of reading one of my fav pastimes i.e. frequenting book shops will soon be in the same realms of the LBS...the Ereader device (Kindle....p.s. i have one) and "supermarkets" are supposedly nailing the coffin lid shut on small book shops....shame really as owning a book shop is top of my bucket list.
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Heltor Chasca
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 11 Feb 2015, 7:22am

I'm a fan of browsing round book shops and bike shops. Trouble is my LBS isn't great and the nearest book shops are in Bath and Bristol.

You guessed it: I buy online. I'm also tempted by these Kindles!

pete75
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby pete75 » 11 Feb 2015, 8:26am

Does it need to be a shop? Why not a Local Bike Service/Repair business? Could be run with low overheads from low cost premises.

The bike trade in this country seems to be run to rip off the shop using retail customer where many component prices are concerned. By that I don't mean just the LBS but the whole chain from importer to customer. Shimano components being a prime example. Just how many profit taking but non value adding hands does a set of brakes pass through before reaching the customer? How many parasites like account managers and sales reps have to be paid?

The person who loses the most by this process is the end customer but, as the least powerful link in the sales chain, it doesn't do the LBS much good either. The position of the small retailer dependent on official importers and wholesalers etc is probably in a similar position to the tenant of one of the infamous pubcos who force him to buy his beer from them at above the going rate and never let him have access to the offers and deals available to the free trade. Chain Reaction and Ribble etc are the Wetherspoons of the bike trade.

Mark1978
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 8:33am

They survive by selling bikes and though bike maintenance - even though youtube is eating into the maintenance thing!

I buy the vast majority of my stuff online and going to the bike shop for tyres, tubes, computers, lights etc just doesn't occur as it's quicker and easier online and I know up front if they have stock.

But if I want my gears sorting or my chain changing or cables fixing I'll take it to the LBS.

That said they need to help themselves sometimes. So I can drop my bike off for servicing when it's convenient for me, which often means Sunday, when they are closed.

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honesty
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby honesty » 11 Feb 2015, 8:46am

horizon wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,

What would you do if you were running a shop :?:



1. Move round the corner away from the High Street.
2. Go on line
3. Find myself a niche
4. Operate from my shed
5. Operate from a van
6. Go on Facebook
7. Do repairs but upsell products
8. Go on a marketing course

Have I mentioned move off the hight street and go on-line?


Isnt this pretty much what SJS did? Seems to have worked for them!

Mark1978
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 8:52am

honesty wrote:
Isnt this pretty much what SJS did? Seems to have worked for them!


It seems to be what Westbrook Cycles have done, just an ordinary looking LBS based in Stokesley, but they have a big online presence helped by some good deals on end of line stock. e.g. They were selling Scott CR1 SL frames for £500.

Others like Team Cycles see themselves as more of an advice hub.

townbikemark
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby townbikemark » 11 Feb 2015, 9:15am

IMO...the internet/large chain will never replace the independent retailer - they just offer another choice and it's never just price. The internet is another form of distance selling which has its own pros and cons. WRT price, many shops offer goods at prices at the same or less than the internet - I've not quite figured what the big deal is with ebay, but then it depends on what you want. What is definite, is that another type of business offers an alternative source for the buyer that suits their circumstances and requirements. In many cases, when a business goes under, the buyer loses out too, because they offer something that the other doesn't.

Many smaller businesses offer e-business:

http://www.freemanscycles.co.uk/ - family run since 1890...


Going back to the internet not being just about price, here's an example of a place offering stuff of interest to me which the LBS wouldn't know about let alone stock and it wouldn't be feasible for them to either due to insufficient demand. It would also be a lot quicker for me to order direct:

http://www.dutchbikebits.com/
stereotype nonconformance...unpigeonholable...

http://townbikemark.blogspot.co.uk/

Mark1978
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 9:18am

I've found the biggest difference isn't necessarily price, often that's only small. The issue is choice and stock. Your LBS will have some tyres, some chain oil and some degreaser. But if I specifically want (say) Continential GP4000S II 23mm tyres with a red trim, Wiggle has those for next day delivery. Without checking I could tell you now the LBS won't have those, why would they it's far too specific.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 11 Feb 2015, 9:56am

Hi,
fluffybunnyuk wrote:I would say there is great cachet to be had in being a LBS. I think the key is to avoid bike/parts/accessories retail. Servicing is where the money is relatively speaking. Also moving to a cycling cybercafe model. where you can get bike fixed ,have a coffee, and surf the net while you wait is a great idea. I see plenty of potential but not in the traditional model.

Good :!:
Even two spinning machines when you earn a free cup of coffee for the winner......hustle for free refreshment all day :lol:
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You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.