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Old 12-19-13, 09:40 PM   #1
HawkOwl
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LBS Local?

It has surprised me just how many "local" businesses in fact have remote ownership. It is not always apparent to the customer they are, in fact, dealing with a chain. How about bike shops? How many are actually Local?
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Old 12-19-13, 10:05 PM   #2
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I suspect that my local Performance Bike shop may be controlled by out-of-state interests. Same with REI except that it's on the North side of Indy which is no way local to me.
Bicycle Garage Indy is a chain but local to Central Indiana.
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Old 12-19-13, 11:30 PM   #3
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Mine is "local" as in the owner lives here. Not quite the same as born and raised local as some other hometown businesses. No way would I trade it for a remotely owned one. By the second definition I'm not exactly local either but have lived here longer than anywhere else in my 50 years.
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Old 12-20-13, 09:45 AM   #4
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... lived here longer than anywhere else ...
That's an interesting definition of "local". That makes me "local", although I doubt that the real "locals" would see it that way.

As far as I know all of our LBS's are "locally owned" in the Black wallnut's definition, with a couple probably falling into the more traditional definition of local.

Since all my choices are locally owned, the question comes down to service.
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Old 12-20-13, 10:04 AM   #5
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We only have one and it is locally owned. The owner and I worked together as cooks at his parents' bar and grill 30+ years ago, just down the street from the bike shop where I work for him as a part time mechanic/salesman. The only two jobs I've ever had where the boss provided beer.

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Old 12-20-13, 10:13 AM   #6
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All of the ones in Loovul are locally owned.
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Old 12-20-13, 10:44 AM   #7
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Only one in town is independent, but largely stays afloat on bank loans for inventory,

And benefits from (like) Trek Corp's rotating credit line to stock the Bikes on the sales floor,
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Old 12-20-13, 12:07 PM   #8
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All of the bike shops in the area that I frequent are locally owned. We do have some chain-type shops around, but I don't go there.

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Old 12-20-13, 12:25 PM   #9
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three shops in our area, all locally owned
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Old 12-20-13, 04:17 PM   #10
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Dayton Ohio had a really great LBS owned by a couple brothers named Wright. They did have to buy some rubber parts... shipped down from Akron... but most parts they made right there in the shop. They even made complete bicycles and became quite well known for their craftsmanship. But then they got to screwing around with that darn flying machine idea..... and ended up closing the bicycle shop.

Other so-called "local" shops don't make ANY parts what-so-ever. Everything is just shipped to the store and sold off the shelf. I might as well use the Internet to have the same Japanize parts shipped to my house. We haven't had any local bike stuff in Dayton since Huffy closed it's doors.
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Old 12-20-13, 04:33 PM   #11
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We have several good shops here. One is Performance, which is a chain (in a good way), based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Another is under a company store based in a large city 100 miles away. A third is local and has been in biz for over 100 years. And there are several more locals. All are clean, friendly, helpful, tolerant, and great places to shop, but, understandably, don't have much for vintage bikes. I buy what I can.
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Old 12-20-13, 04:48 PM   #12
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I agree with Dave - my Dad said he quit dealing with Wright Brothers when they started spending most of their time down in Kitty Hawk, NC.
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Old 12-20-13, 08:11 PM   #13
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I agree with Dave - my Dad said he quit dealing with Wright Brothers when they started spending most of their time down in Kitty Hawk, NC.
I hear that they got kind of flighty then......

As to the LBS ownership here, our LBS, Cyclesports of Pensacola, they are locally owned, both partners are home town boys I have known from way back in the old Pensacola Freewheeler club days. The other two I cannot say as they both recently went through some changes, one is barely hanging on, it seems, they have closed up branch stores and now the remaining has a new name and a sign saying new ownership. I hope they all can prosper and stay open, we need more choices just for the different bicycle lines and such.

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Old 12-20-13, 08:58 PM   #14
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We've got a six truly local bike shops, and they are all excellent at what they do. We also have a local chain that has three storefronts, down from four a year ago; it is a truly horrible business, but they are the local trek dealer, so they stay in business. Then we have four out-of-town chain stores (REI, Performance, Hutch's and it's little brother). For chains, they aren't half-bad. Other than that, we have a couple of well-known frame manufacturing outfits (Co-Motion, Bike Friday) and Rolf Prima Wheels.

I regularly see the owner of one of the local shops out riding in the morning and the owner of another always rides his bike to/from work. The manager of the Hutch's chain store is also often to be found out on his bike. Before he sold his half of the business to his brother, I used to occasionally see the half-owner of Bike Friday riding to/from work. To me, that's an important part of being a local bike shop owner: riding locally.
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Old 12-21-13, 02:09 PM   #15
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We have three where the owner lives in town and one that is part of a regional chain.
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Old 12-21-13, 02:52 PM   #16
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My LBS, the one I use, is definitely local. Even before the present owner took it over, it was owned local for nearly 40+ years. The present owner lives right down the street and I pass his house every time I do a ride. They saved my butt one time at 0600 hours when I got a flat from a roofing nail(owner's girlfriend was walking the dog and saw me). She told me that if something happens and I'm near their house, to feel free to ring the doorbell, even if it's 0500. That is what I call over and above service.
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Old 12-21-13, 04:52 PM   #17
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Even if it's a chain, the people who work at the LBS are locals. So some of my spending ends up in local pockets.
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Old 12-21-13, 07:48 PM   #18
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Went to our LBS this morning, I needed some Chamios Butt'r and also scored a new pair of CDaleClassic Shorts. There were dad's picking up bikes for their children's Christmas, kind of neat to see them wheeling the bikes out to be hidden until Santa can put them under the tree in a few days. Talked about the old days and past bike shops in our area that have long ago passed on with one of the owners then wished all the mechanics a Merry Christmas. Going to take them a home made goody platter Monday for all they have done for us this year.

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