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Retailers giving discount to those arriving by bicycle

Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 11:06am
by Speshact
I'm looking to introduce a community event whereby some local shops (from neighbourhood to local supermarket) would give a discount/freebie/other benefit (cycling clubcard points in contrast to 5p off each litre of fuel!!!) to people arriving to shop by bicycle for a day or two.

Has anyone experience of doing this and any suggestions.

For example, how does the retailer know who to give the benefit to?
I'm assuming the cyclist may have cycled to the town centre and then be wandering around rather than parking their bike where a retailer can see it.
I don't want to make it 'produce your helmet' because I don't want to exclude those who choose not to wear one.
A better option may be show your lights but this won't work for those with dynamo lighting systems or who only cycle in daylight.
Panniers? But what about those who use back packs or dangle carrier bags on their handlebars!

I've probably answered the question - show your lights or panniers or p******e repair kit or helmet.

I don't want something as complicated as: ... le-benfits
where you have to have the bicycle benefits sticker on your helmet!

Anyway, suggestions welcome - particularly examples of previous successful schemes that I can give as examples to retailers.

Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 5:22pm
by GeoffL
I know that the Eden Project offers discounts to cyclists. They also have Sheffield stands and lockers by the coach pick-up point so that cyclists might not be identifiable as such by the time they get to the turnstiles. The last time I visited by bike I had a "supporters" pass that gave me free access, so I didn't need the cyclist's discount. Perhaps you could ask them for some pointers - after all, they are all about sustainability and I suspect they'd be all for your initiative.

Here's the Eden Project prices page

Good luck, and HTH,


Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 7:59pm
by Simon L6
where you go others will follow. They plan to do this for the Olympics. They have the advantage of having controlled points of entry. My only thought is that cycling arrivals simply get a token, or a card given to them - but how I've no idea.

Where is this?

Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 9:01pm
by Speshact
I'm looking at Tooting Broadway.

Maybe if cyclists showed their cycle lock at the checkout...

Posted: 19 Oct 2008, 10:18pm
by lauriematt
Speshact wrote:I'm looking at Tooting Broadway.

Maybe if cyclists showed their cycle lock at the checkout...

but how would they lock their bikes up??? :lol:

its very baffling to come up with an idea

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 9:49am
by EdinburghFixed
Everybody gets 5p off petrol whether they drive or not. So why worry too much about whether people really did cycle? Relatively few drivers are going to lower themselves to become pretend cyclists unless the 'prize' is huge.

The benefit for shops is publicity and extra custom, which should outweigh any cheating.

I know on principle, if there was a supermarket that rewarded us cycling we'd switch to it even if it was further away (and probably still go even if we needed to take the car).

Great idea if you can get it off the ground!

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 12:12pm
by zenzinnia
First thoughts:
You could set up a simple loyalty card style scheme. Each shop would have a supply of cards and any cyclist could fill in a card which could include details such as 'name', 'make of bike' and post code. These details could then also be sent to the organiser to record numbers but also to the police to help identify bikes that may get stollen. Special events could be organised for members such as bikers breakfasts and it could be expanded to people who generally cycle to work in the locality too.

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 1:04pm
by juice
I got a discount at the wild fowl trust, and somewhere secure and undercover to store my bike, I appreciated both,but if I had to choose it would be the storage.

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 1:23pm
by Dee Jay
This a great idea, and I wish you well with it.

I don't know whether you have a Co-op near you? But, they are generally very amenable to community schemes.

And I would suggest approaching small/independent/alternative/organic type places as these will be the ones to with most to gain. The types of stores could be anything from cinemas to tattoo parlours to art galleries to greengrocers to dry cleaners.

I think that M&S might be interested and I would approach them: fits in well with the 'Plan A. ' advertising campaign.

Apparently some National Trust properties give cyclists' discount ... or so I'm told.

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 2:49pm
by eileithyia
Well it is a great idea but not sure how workable it is.
RSPB offer free entry to Leighton Moss for cyclists, walkers and those arriving by public transport (produce ticket) and 10% discount in the cafe.
Having heard of the typical skinflint cyclist that some are, parking within half a mile, then riding to the centre all to get 10p (or thereabouts) off a cup of tea, I did wonder about the feasibility of "policing" such schemes.

I guess if you had to park a bike in a supplied bike locker and subsequently had a token to prove you had done so?

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 3:33pm
by GeoffL
eileithyia wrote:Having heard of the typical skinflint cyclist that some are, parking within half a mile, then riding to the centre all to get 10p (or thereabouts) off a cup of tea, I did wonder about the feasibility of "policing" such schemes.

To my mind, getting someone to cycle for a few hundred yards is a big step in the right direction because:
  1. It means the bike is being used and (hopefully) is thus kept in reasonable condition.
  2. There is a chance that it might get used for much more in future.
FWIW, I was intrigued, so I've just got off the phone to the Eden Project (who offer discounts for cyclists and walkers). They tell me they can usually spot cyclists a mile off. Regular cyclists usually come dressed for cycling or carrying cycling paraphernalia; occasional cyclists are usually dishevelled and breathless from the Cornish hills. Those that use the lockers by the coach bays have locker keys with them. Those who the staff suspect are not cyclists are asked which route they took to get to the Eden Project, at which point it comes to light that some just have bikes strapped to their cars or just used bikes to get from the topmost car park to the cycle stands! In the end, those who insist they cycled in are given any benefit of the doubt.

I don't know how much use this is but I hope it helps,


Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 5:24pm
by Speshact
Thanks for that Geoff. I emailed them this morning so they'll probably be curious about this sudden flurry of interest!

Next up, to save retailers etc. having to think too hard, is to come up with rewards to suggest to that they could easily, affordably and attractively offer for a limited time (eg Bike Week in June) . My thoughts so far - please join in, trying to stick to the criteria above! Specialist knowledge from a particular retailer/sector very welcome.

Sainsbury's/Tesco - 100 Nectar/Clubcard Points
Woolies/Primark etc. - 5% discount on purchases
Corner Store: free paper with any other purchase over £1
Sports Centre: free swim

Take away
Chinese: free spring rolls
Fish and Chips:

Place of Worship:
Church: No need to put money into the collection this week

Doctor's Practice:
Dentist: free dental floss etc.
Dry Cleaners:

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 5:30pm
by eileithyia
Hi Geoff, on this occasion the person in question is a regular cyclist and rides far more than a few yards on a regular basis, they were passing the reserve by vehicle, and having eaten their sandwiches then unstrapped the bikes to ride the short distance in order to claim having "cycled".
Peronally for the amount of saving I really could not have been bothered, it would be more effort to remove bikes and put them back, than a few pence saving on a cuppa would merit.
But then it takes all sorts.
But it is hardly in the "green" spirit of having cycled to the reserve.

Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 5:40pm
by GeoffL
Hi, eileithyia.

Sorry that I misunderstood. I so reckon that it would be a really good thing to get some of what must be hundreds of thousands of dust-gathering bicycles out of the shed and onto the road that I didn't consider that scenario. Nonetheless, if the initiative is meant to encourage cycling I suspect there's little wrong with letting regular cyclists get away with the occasional liberty - you'd only be letting them get away with the same as everyone else, after all.


Posted: 20 Oct 2008, 5:50pm
by johnmac
A nice thought, but the only thing which would get me to cycle to a supermarket is the provision of locking cycle boxes.