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Old 09-11-05, 01:56 PM   #1
seely 
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Making our shop more DJ/FR friendly? Ideas?

My coworker and I would really like to see our "roadie" shop become more FR and DJ oriented. There is a growing scene here especially among DJers and urban riders, with talk of some Northshore skills parks coming in. Anyways our owner is very reluctant to get in aggro bikes because we tend to sit on them for awhile. However, one of the ones we are sitting on is a 17.5" Fisher Mullet, which I explained to him we are sitting on it because its a 17.5", but if we had 13" and 15" we could more likely sell those.

What I am thinking is:
-We push the Opie/Mullet as an alternative to a Advance/Wahoo. Kids will love them because they look a lot "cooler" and are beefy. We also offer lifetime service on all our bikes and I think a Mullet or Opie will hold up better.
-For the higher end we bring in a Chase 2 and a Chase 3, in small (15"-ish)

I'd also like to bring in some shin guards, helmets, tires and other accessories, but I don't want to push my luck... getting the bikes in a huge risk in and of itself for me, if they don't sell.

Now, my owners concern is what we call "kayak syndrome". We used to sell kayaks... no one bought them. A year later or more, we are now getting 2-3 calls a day asking us about our kayak selection now that we no longer carry them. I could see this happen with the DJ and FR bikes too. The Cannondale Prophet has not been a good seller for us so that is not helping my case at all either. What is encouraging was that this Saturday I sold a Chase 3, and had someone test ride the Mullet, and someone who is most likely going to buy the Prophet.

I guess I am just kind of thinking out loud here... my coworker and I would really like to get this market going since we feel that we have the best shop in town by far (we are biased!) and are getting tired of selling roadbikes all day. Anyone with suggestions feel free to chime in on what we should carry and how we should promote it and get it pushed through.

Jon
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Old 09-11-05, 02:40 PM   #2
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I know this tip is pretty much useless but maybe you could encourage higher end FR/DJ bikes being sold a little by either giving away some shinguards with it or giving people a big discount on shinguards. (I'm saying higher end because on the lower end ones it might not be possible to simply give away a nice shinguard for a fairly cheap FR/DJ bike). Just a thought. Good luck with the shop!
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Old 09-11-05, 02:43 PM   #3
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Not a bad suggestion... I gave the kid who bought the Chase 3 a set of Lizardskins shinguards for $34.99 and a set of the Cannondale DH gloves for 20% off so hopefully he'll tell the kids he rides with that we rock.
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Old 09-11-05, 02:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
Not a bad suggestion... I gave the kid who bought the Chase 3 a set of Lizardskins shinguards for $34.99 and a set of the Cannondale DH gloves for 20% off so hopefully he'll tell the kids he rides with that we rock.
I certainly would if I was him. I wish I had your shop as my LBS. I'll brainstorm a bit, I'll post if more ideas spring to mind.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:19 PM   #5
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The small shop I ride for is less than a year old, and is primarily freeride oriented. The owner doesn't have lots of bikes on the floor but moves a fair amount of special order Konas and Banshees. He uses a number of methods to market the scene. Here's a couple that seem to work for him (in stream of consciousness format, sorry):

First and foremost: Keep it real. He rides all the time, leads weekly urban rides out of his shop, takes groups on weekend trips to Snowshoe and Wintergreen (two nearby lift serviced mountains). He was active in creating and building our city sponsored bike park, and gets lots of business by talking to the kids out there. A few free t-shirts for the groms go a long way toward creating loyalty and additional business. Additionally, he has made the shop is a hangout of sorts, with couches, bike videos, Xbox, and lots of magazines to hang out and read. The kids love it, and the next thing you know, in come their parents to buy bikes too. But ultimately, if there's no scene, no one will want to get in on it.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:28 PM   #6
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Well, do what a lot of people do. Display the coolest bike of each kind and stock up on several sizes. If you do it right, you won't end up with that Kayak problem, but if you don't get the word out that you've got them now, you will end up with that kayak problem.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:14 PM   #7
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What about running a small television that has a series of MTB'ing videos running. To save on cost probably only 2 different ones or so.

Also put up a series of free-ride oriented posters in obvious locations.

Should do wonders for your free-riding troubles.

In reference to making the shop more of a hang out for kids: Not a good idea. Say good bye to your 40 year old roadie customers when they see 10 kids hanging around a couch playing XBOX. Since seely's shop is so road-oriented, anything too drastic would certainly detract from the road customers. The video thing is actually probably pushing it a little too far, but if you run it off to the side in the MTB section instead of like the middle of the store you should be ok. Also make sure it's quite quiet.

Good luck
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Old 09-11-05, 04:21 PM   #8
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We actually have couches, chairs, a free popcorn machine, Jones/Izze/H20 fridge, a ice cream novelty cooler, and an HDTV w/ a VCR set up. I've been pushing to get Kranked or NWD or SOMETHING playing but so far no luck. Our shop is definately the ONLY shop within 50mi that you really can just hang out at.... now its just a matter of getting the freeriders and dirtjumpers to come in I guess.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:42 PM   #9
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I too was going to suggest the whole video/poster idea, but youy may want to try some videos that aren't quite as extreme as 50 foot jumps and whatnot. You want people to see the more "doable" side of freeriding. Also you could try doing some type of demonstration (depending on your shops location) with a few ramps and the like. Try to find a good freerider who will make things look easy to attract others.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
We actually have couches, chairs, a free popcorn machine, Jones/Izze/H20 fridge, a ice cream novelty cooler, and an HDTV w/ a VCR set up. I've been pushing to get Kranked or NWD or SOMETHING playing but so far no luck. Our shop is definately the ONLY shop within 50mi that you really can just hang out at.... now its just a matter of getting the freeriders and dirtjumpers to come in I guess.
The confection coolers are fine, and the free popcorn is nice, but how are these couches and chairs set up? Not like a teen hang out right?
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Old 09-11-05, 07:17 PM   #11
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Don't hate on the Xbox. By the sound of things he's already got the boring anal middle aged roadie market cornered.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is you can't turn the shop into a freeride shop by merely loading up on high end freeride bikes, putting up posters (are you kidding me?) or by sticking a tv playing The Collective in a dark corner. If you haven't noticed, the industry seems to be defined by these perceived subsets of subsets of subcultures, all "doing their own thing." I was just relaying my observations of what it takes to hit a certain target demographic, which I believe is what seely was asking in the first place.

Got any real advice swiff?
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Old 09-11-05, 07:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
We actually have couches, chairs, a free popcorn machine, Jones/Izze/H20 fridge, a ice cream novelty cooler, and an HDTV w/ a VCR set up. I've been pushing to get Kranked or NWD or SOMETHING playing but so far no luck. Our shop is definately the ONLY shop within 50mi that you really can just hang out at.... now its just a matter of getting the freeriders and dirtjumpers to come in I guess.
You should try to get them to play The Collective.
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Old 09-11-05, 08:07 PM   #13
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In my LBS the owner may have Disorderly Conduct playing while selling a roadbike. We have all kinds around here. Roadies,DH/freeride,trail riders and xc racers.We all hang out and rag on each other, it's just fun. Seely, have you thought about leading an urban ride once a week. That might get intrest up.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:15 PM   #14
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ya your really gotta get yourself out there, if you see someone with a broken bike up on a help them and if it cant be fixed tell them to bring it by your shop and youll have a look at it. if your talkin to someone at the run thats lookin for a better bike say you can hook them up... and make ABSOLUTELY sure that your mechanic know how to fix a mountain bike(chainguides, disk brakes...) if your mech screws it up word gets out fast. i also like the fact that you have lifetime service on you bike, this should be a good selling point for you.

about the layout of the store, if your gunna do both make sure its close to equal, ive went into some bike shops and you walk in and all there is is road bikes and light xc bikes with spandex stuff. i ask where the mt biking stuff is, the guy looks at me like im a waste of time waves over to a little corner with not much of anything and walks away.

if you gunna do it make sure you have a decent amout of stuff, im not saying order a uber amouts of stuff just make sure you have some good shinpads, some good gloves, hydration packs multi tools, mtb seats/DJ seats, mabey get a nice DJ frame or DH frame and hang it on the wall. and make sure you have a good selection of components. what i gess im trying to say is dont do this half assed. and make your prices not set in stone, or reasonable at least, alot of mountainbikers done have lots of money to keep their bike running.

hope this ramble helps you a bit.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:32 AM   #15
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you could put out a little advert in the local paper/ put out posters on noticeboards and stuff, saying about the new bikes you've got coming in. Also, get one of the staff (maybe you!) to go down to the local jumps/skate park and ride around and hand out flyers. If you have a big area in your city for bikes, go down one day maybe with one of those big tent things like at bike shows and the like, and offer free repairs, give out a couple of free bits of kit eg grips (not too expensive, can be bought in bulk) and just generally spread the word about your shop. This is a bit of crap sduggestion next but if your shop is particullary big/easy to get lost in, put up signs to direct people to where the freeride/dj area is.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:58 PM   #16
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By the sound of things he's already got the boring anal middle aged roadie market cornered.
You forgot the adjective 'well heeled'.

You don't want to alienate this crowd. you want that crowd buying their sons and daughters urban/fr bikes at your shop, no?

Maybe sponsor a local rider or two??
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Old 09-12-05, 01:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by unsuspended
You don't want to alienate this crowd.
Insofar as it's already a roadie shop, certainly not. But why would anyone be alienated by a positive, bike related vibe for kids at their LBS?


Quote:
Originally Posted by unsuspended
you want that crowd buying their sons and daughters urban/fr bikes at your shop, no?
Sure, their money is as good as anyone's.


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Maybe sponsor a local rider or two??
Great idea. Worked for me.
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Old 09-12-05, 01:52 PM   #18
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Insofar as it's already a roadie shop, certainly not. But why would anyone be alienated by a positive, bike related vibe for kids at their LBS?
If they are open minded, they shouldn't be. I agree if people are really into bikes it shouldn't matter.
But there are a lot of stuck up roadie snobs out there. Just the reality. If you want to cater to both markets you just have to be smart.
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Old 09-12-05, 03:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastro
Don't hate on the Xbox. By the sound of things he's already got the boring anal middle aged roadie market cornered.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is you can't turn the shop into a freeride shop by merely loading up on high end freeride bikes, putting up posters (are you kidding me?) or by sticking a tv playing The Collective in a dark corner. If you haven't noticed, the industry seems to be defined by these perceived subsets of subsets of subcultures, all "doing their own thing." I was just relaying my observations of what it takes to hit a certain target demographic, which I believe is what seely was asking in the first place.

Got any real advice swiff?
I don't know what you mean by the last sentence and if it was supposed to sound a little angry but it's one thing to give advice and it's another to give a little more reserved advice based on the information given. Personally, I see a hell of a lot more $1000 road bikes being sold then $1000 free ride bikes. And if you don't think those kinds of things would scare off roadies, go and read some of the threads in the Road Cycling forum. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff they concentrate on.

Now, notice seely's portrayal of his owner's reluctance to do push FR bikes. I was just thinking, a guy who doesn't really even want to stock the bikes would not want to do some of the things you were suggesting. Evidently he already was for some of them though.

That's my "real advice" or rather my rational explanation for it.
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Old 09-12-05, 04:46 PM   #20
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Same thing with my LBS, they were all road and XC bikes, then they brought in a few Norcos (torrent, manik, etc...) and people were all over them. Plus they are playing vids such as NWD which seems to make people more freeride orientated.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:25 PM   #21
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i would put a real nice fr bike in the window if you have one, along side of the road bikes(never forget your roots) mybe get some mags with freeride photos, i love them. get a brand like kona next to say cannondale so they know you have the bikes(you know in the phone book or on the door)

but, all this goes downhill if you guys dont know crap about freeriding and that part of the sport.
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Old 09-12-05, 10:39 PM   #22
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A lot of people have said similar things, but I'll add my two cents:

You need to start some guerilla marketing. Make your shop stand out a bit. Sponsor some DJ/FR events, or at the very least, show up. Displaying the coolest bikes is a good idea, as well as the videos. We started doing that, and even the roadies watched the movies. No reason why there needs to be friction between different types of bikers. Just keep things classy. As long as you keep up the quality service, you should have no problem.

Make sure you stock parts for FR bikes. I spend most of my time & money in the shop that has the best service. I don't like buying from shops that won't suit my needs down the road. Also, make sure you have one or two salespeople that know a lot about DJ/FR...if not, hire one.
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