Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

The death of LBSs as we know them. Reborn as Jiffy LBS?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The death of LBSs as we know them. Reborn as Jiffy LBS?

Old 02-08-18, 07:35 AM
  #51  
kbarch
Senior Member
 
kbarch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,286
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1095 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by raria View Post
So I get it that those most of us over 50 appreciated warm fuzzies etc. but I think this is what is hurting LBS now and in the future.

Expecting people to pay for service and tip (whether it be in cash or beer) just rubs the new generation the wrong way and they just don't understand or value it.
I wouldn't be so sure of that. Admittedly the clientele at my shop skews older and well-heeled, but I really didn't pay so much attention to the tip jar until I saw a young guy, probably a student, stuff a ten in the jar after getting a flat fixed and derailleur adjustment.
They may be more accustomed to limited service and disposable technology, but millennials aren't any less human or generous than any other generation.
Sometimes personal service isn't really meaningful, but when it is, I wouldn't be surprised if younger folks were actually more appreciative of service than older generations and those who grew up expecting more of it.

Oh, and how can one ignore all the talk these days about how people are spending more on "experiences," not just "things?"
kbarch is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 08:55 AM
  #52  
kcblair
Old Legs
 
kcblair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mass.
Posts: 1,134

Bikes: '80 Strayvaigin, '84 Ciocc Aelle-Shimano 105, '90 Concorde Astore-Campy Athena,85 Bridgestone 500/Suntour, 2005 Jamis Quest, 2017 Raleigh Merit 1, Raleigh Carbon Clubman

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
VELOFIX, now that's thinking outside the box.KB
kcblair is online now  
Old 02-08-18, 09:05 AM
  #53  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,660

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2590 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Actually, I'm not certain what hurdles need to be overcome to have an online presence. A couple cases in point, both of which have actual storefronts. I thought I've read somewhere that websites like these are basically (at least the Brand's example) just re-presenting the distributors/QBP (?) offerings/stock thru their own site and taking the markup?

https://brandscycle.com/

https://www.bicyclebuys.com/
That puts you ahead of a lot of people, who don't realize that there are hurdles. I don't know about the bicycle industry but I've done the online business, mid-volume or high volume by some reckoning. Thinking back, I had first set my wife up in a shop, traditional retail in a shopping center, and later on moved it on-line. Same product, same focus, but without the storefront, so I probably have more practical business experience with it than most - but I didn't have both businesses (brick and mortar, and web) at the same time so they're completely separate in my mind.

That may color my opinion, but I'd suggest that B&M and online should share infrastructure and resources, but that you'd want a firewall between them in operations. Inventory control could become a challenge, and it would take some discipline. I'm think more along the lines that a bike shop could expand to online sales, and therefore some eventually will, rather than all the details which I admit that I haven't thought that deeply about.

During my ventures, from time to time a distributor or supplier would want to compete with me on-line, and it was worse with a sideline product that I'd set up. (Experimenting - what if I set up a multitude of micro-businesses, all sharing the same systems, but that's a different story). My experience was that while they may be great distributors they knew next to nothing about how to fulfill retail orders. Also their systems weren't designed for it, and they couldn't adapt very quickly. So I didn't really care, even when my own supplier was undercutting my prices.
wphamilton is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 09:05 AM
  #54  
Dave Cutter
Senior Member
 
Dave Cutter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: D'uh... I am a Cutter
Posts: 6,163

Bikes: '17 Access Old Turnpike Gravel bike, '14 Trek 1.1, '13 Cannondale CAAD 10, '98 CAD 2, R300

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1569 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by San Pedro View Post
It's capitalism
Since the LBS is NOT a government ran program.... yeah.... capitalism.

Originally Posted by San Pedro View Post
...... I have a feeling the area and the use of bikes are important. Maybe in a bike heavy city, like Minneapolis, an LBS would have much more business from commuters and things on the low end that keep up revenue streams and provide a service that is needed that they can't get from online or even a big box store.
I too, have an emotional attachment to bikes and cycling. But I try hard to NOT let feeling interfere with the pragmatics of change. Business, jobs, marketing, life itself... has and will always continue to change because society itself (minus draconian regulation) is NOT static.

Nothing in history has owned such a significant part of human's hearts as has the horse. Yet... we've pretty much relegated horses to sport use. And not even todays global love affair with automobiles will NOT last forever. Change will last. We will always have change.
Dave Cutter is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 09:38 AM
  #55  
TakingMyTime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Alamitos, Calif.
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Trek 7.4 FX, 5200 & 7700

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
This may be a bit anecdotal, but when I am in one of my area's larger LBS there does seem to be a handful of people who are disappointed and/or surprised that the repair they brought in cannot be done while they wait.

I'm sure it just has to do with staffing on any particular day. In their defense, I have gone in with a cassette that was tightened down too much for my tools and they gladly removed it for me, on the spot, no charge.
TakingMyTime is online now  
Old 02-08-18, 09:53 AM
  #56  
TakingMyTime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Alamitos, Calif.
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Trek 7.4 FX, 5200 & 7700

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
Another thing that I think might be a good idea, is for a local LBS to saturate an area/neighborhood with flyers that they will be in that area on a particular Saturday with a "Repair Van" to help your with you minor repairs. Mind you, the real reason for this is to create a relationship with the LBS. You have people set tentative appointments with a description of their problem (which I'm guessing that 80% of those problems will be flat tires) and you to work that Saturday.

Another option is to send out flyers and let them know your shop is having a free flat repair clinic. People bring their bikes/wheels to you. My guess is that there are plenty of people who do not know how to repair a flat and that once their bike got a flat, they gave up.

Just thinking out loud.
TakingMyTime is online now  
Old 02-08-18, 09:55 AM
  #57  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6918 Post(s)
Liked 245 Times in 203 Posts
Bezos own that too?
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 10:54 AM
  #58  
Ald1 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Central Pa.
Posts: 246

Bikes: Domane SLR 9 Fuji Gran Fondo 2.3 1978 Mercian

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Tips
To Insure Proper Service....Have free tune ups at PB but would never leave without tipping the guy...
Ald1 is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 11:27 AM
  #59  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
I am totally not sold on the "bring the shop to the customer" idea. Too many tools and way too many different parts. Adn I think , $75-$100 service fee is way too much.

That means that if I want some guy to swap my cassette i have to pay $100 .... I'd be online checking out how to do it in a heartbeat. How many customers would pay $100 to get a flat fixed, or to get a derailleur cable changed?

Also .... not a lot of people bring their bikes to their offices. Which means business hours might be truncated ... everyone will get home at six and want the repairman to arrive between six and eight.

If someone has to transport his/her bike to work (because not a lot of people who can afford $100 for a new tube commute by bike) s/he would likely just take it to a shop after work and pick it up the next evening. Easier than the whole mess with loading the bike (assuming s/he has a car rack) then taking the bike into the office ... and will the repairman work in the office? Carry all the tools, parts and a bike stand into the building during work hours? No way most offices would allow it ---insurance liabilities, and distraction.

So the repairman has to come in, get the bike, and take it the truck---except now it needs to be a big box truck because he has to work in back (rain, snow, and laws abut working in a parking lot or sidewalk.)

The only thing I see working might be bringing a repair truck to a popular MTB trailhead.

But one thing about the rolling repair business---no Sales, and sales are easy money for a shop. Bottles, cages, gloves ... small items, limited space needed, good markup. And even selling a few single-speed cruisers .... if the shop is there and the repairman is in the shop, he can talk bikes. he could even go online and find the right bike for a person and order it for a minimal (but worthwhile) markup and have it shipped to the store. The rolling repairman is Just repairs.

I have seen a shop-sales set-up at MTB endurance races .... but that was a big truck and a big trailer and a 12-hour race, so lots of time for people to stroll by and look at stuff ... and it was probably affiliated with the organizers, so they loaded up the compressors, start-finish inflatables, tables, and all that into the truck and trailer to take them to the next event.

if people think they can make it work for them, Great! there might be people in places where everything falls into place. I think that would be great for them.

Like I said, I wouldn't invest int eh business as a start-up.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 11:37 AM
  #60  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 4,346
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1084 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 70 Times in 41 Posts
One of our local shops is putting in a beer bar.

Many folks drive here to start their rides- particularly mtn bikers,

so lots of recovery beers are consumed.

Maybe it will be like another local post-ride spot:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_1402.jpg (51.7 KB, 189 views)
woodcraft is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 12:35 PM
  #61  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
Plus the shop can offer a ride service for excessively "recovered" riders ... "We get you And your bike home safe and sound!"
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 12:48 PM
  #62  
surak
Senior Member
 
surak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 733

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Giant Contend SL Disc 2, Priority Continuum Onyx, Santana Vision, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem, Priority Classic

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 19 Posts
Has this Op-Ed been discussed before?

Opinion: It's the end of the road for the IBD: Say hello to the IBS

Some excerpts:
Grant these new online bike shoppers their wish: become a service-only, unbiased, true professional bike shop. Get rid of all your complete bike lines, because sooner or later they're going to get rid of you anyway, as they will have to go online to survive. Downsize and get rid of all slow-selling inventory, clothing, etc., and go crazy and stock up on the latest and greatest consumables, tires, tubes, racks etc.
The key to success with your new IBS is: fast, fast, fast turnaround service. No more "Sorry, we're backed up two to three weeks." Those days are gone. Offer absolutely guaranteed professional work, backed by a free, 30-day, no-hassle follow-up.
surak is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 01:56 PM
  #63  
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,508

Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by raria View Post
Are you saying the homeless and thugs on the trails meant people gave up cycling? That's sad and so unlike Eugene (or Oregon in general).
Long time Oregon rider here with experience in Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, and currently living in Portland.

This issue is real. Anecdotally, a number of people I've talked to (especially women) mention this as a specific reason for not riding.

Even in a major metropolitan area, dedicated bike paths are completely desolate except for during short key times. It's bad enough I'd rather take my chances on the roads late at night with the drunks than with meth addled criminals. Even those who stay on roads can get harassed when passing by places where thugs congregate.

I love riding in cold driving rain because it washes these problems away. Problems go through the roof in perfect weather.
banerjek is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 02:34 PM
  #64  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Even those who stay on roads can get harassed when passing by places where thugs congregate.
That brings back memories.

About 20 years back I was riding from my apartment, which I was leaving, to my new home, about 45 miles away, carrying a load on my Cannondale touring bike.

When I planned my route I didn't stop to think about what neighborhoods would be immediately adjacent to some parts of my route .... but they were places I would not voluntarily walk in daylight.

I rode past a gang of kids .... thinking "There's a gang of kids." It didn't occur to me that sometimes a group of kids is a gang ... even though I had had problems with "groups of kids" while on foot, which was why certain parts of town were no ton my regular route.

Turns out some of the gang had bicycles.

Turns out I can ride like a TdF sprinter when I have proper motivation. I can assure you, that that was the Only time I ever dropped the pack on my touring bike.

Sure was sorry to leave that town and move to a place where there were no unsafe places to be.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 06:25 PM
  #65  
dmcdam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 617

Bikes: Opus Vivace F1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I am totally not sold on the "bring the shop to the customer" idea. Too many tools and way too many different parts. Adn I think , $75-$100 service fee is way too much.

That means that if I want some guy to swap my cassette i have to pay $100 .... I'd be online checking out how to do it in a heartbeat. How many customers would pay $100 to get a flat fixed, or to get a derailleur cable changed?

Also .... not a lot of people bring their bikes to their offices. Which means business hours might be truncated ... everyone will get home at six and want the repairman to arrive between six and eight.

If someone has to transport his/her bike to work (because not a lot of people who can afford $100 for a new tube commute by bike) s/he would likely just take it to a shop after work and pick it up the next evening. Easier than the whole mess with loading the bike (assuming s/he has a car rack) then taking the bike into the office ... and will the repairman work in the office? Carry all the tools, parts and a bike stand into the building during work hours? No way most offices would allow it ---insurance liabilities, and distraction.

So the repairman has to come in, get the bike, and take it the truck---except now it needs to be a big box truck because he has to work in back (rain, snow, and laws abut working in a parking lot or sidewalk.)

The only thing I see working might be bringing a repair truck to a popular MTB trailhead.

But one thing about the rolling repair business---no Sales, and sales are easy money for a shop. Bottles, cages, gloves ... small items, limited space needed, good markup. And even selling a few single-speed cruisers .... if the shop is there and the repairman is in the shop, he can talk bikes. he could even go online and find the right bike for a person and order it for a minimal (but worthwhile) markup and have it shipped to the store. The rolling repairman is Just repairs.

I have seen a shop-sales set-up at MTB endurance races .... but that was a big truck and a big trailer and a 12-hour race, so lots of time for people to stroll by and look at stuff ... and it was probably affiliated with the organizers, so they loaded up the compressors, start-finish inflatables, tables, and all that into the truck and trailer to take them to the next event.

if people think they can make it work for them, Great! there might be people in places where everything falls into place. I think that would be great for them.

Like I said, I wouldn't invest int eh business as a start-up.
Velofix started with in Vancouver in 2013 with one vehicle and are now up to over 70 locations across NA so I think they're well past the startup phase and evidently business is going pretty well.

You can also order bikes through them.

https://www.velofix.com/velofix-direct/
dmcdam is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 06:30 PM
  #66  
Hapsmo911
Senior Member
 
Hapsmo911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 784
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
With the cost of labor I think bike shops would be better served not being bike shops. More of a place to hang out with food and drinks, and or zwift centers that wrench for convenience.
Hapsmo911 is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 07:41 PM
  #67  
JReade
Senior Member
 
JReade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,617
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
One of the better shops in the area is a bike/coffee shop. They carry some cool gear and make one of the best lattes in town. They're also a couple doors down from a great bakery - dangerous.
Angry Catfish?
JReade is offline  
Old 02-08-18, 07:51 PM
  #68  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Got a castle in - er, Minneapolis, that's where I dwell!
Posts: 25,557

Bikes: 2016 Diamondback Haanjo, 2018 Trek Domane SL5 Gravel

Mentioned: 311 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9407 Post(s)
Liked 352 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by JReade View Post
Angry Catfish?
Yup. Great place.
WhyFi is online now  
Old 02-09-18, 04:51 AM
  #69  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by dmcdam View Post
Velofix started with in Vancouver in 2013 with one vehicle and are now up to over 70 locations across NA so I think they're well past the startup phase and evidently business is going pretty well.

You can also order bikes through them.

https://www.velofix.com/velofix-direct/
Yeah i see one shop does rentals as well.

I didn't want to pretend to be a customer so I din't see their rates, but it seems at least Canadians will pay them. naturally there is no shop or service anywhere near where I live. Customer density ... which is why they are only going to be one part of the "solution."

I wonder if the company is making a profit yet?

Intersting nonetheless. TY for the info.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 06:06 AM
  #70  
kbarch
Senior Member
 
kbarch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,286
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1095 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by surak View Post
Has this Op-Ed been discussed before?

Opinion: It's the end of the road for the IBD: Say hello to the IBS

Some excerpts:

Grant these new online bike shoppers their wish: become a service-only, unbiased, true professional bike shop. Get rid of all your complete bike lines, because sooner or later they're going to get rid of you anyway, as they will have to go online to survive. Downsize and get rid of all slow-selling inventory, clothing, etc., and go crazy and stock up on the latest and greatest consumables, tires, tubes, racks etc.
Trouble is, many, if not most online bike shoppers also want a showroom somewhere. (Or will equipment distributors and such shops be able to work together to deliver bikes on a trial basis and arrange for returns?)
Also, I think there's a distinct advantage to having shops represent bike lines. There's no better way demonstrate good will and to promote a product than to carry inventory and put the real thing in people's faces. It's by far the most effective form of advertising.
kbarch is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 06:46 AM
  #71  
dmcdam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 617

Bikes: Opus Vivace F1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah i see one shop does rentals as well.

I didn't want to pretend to be a customer so I din't see their rates, but it seems at least Canadians will pay them. naturally there is no shop or service anywhere near where I live. Customer density ... which is why they are only going to be one part of the "solution."

I wonder if the company is making a profit yet?

Intersting nonetheless. TY for the info.
The mothership is probably making a profit selling franchises. Are the franchisees making money is another thing altogether. Possibly doing okay if they're owner/operator scenarios.
dmcdam is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 08:09 AM
  #72  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
There's no better way demonstrate good will and to promote a product than to carry inventory and put the real thing in people's faces. It's by far the most effective form of advertising.
Maybe. (Or, I might misunderstand your post.)

I am not interested enough to do any research, but whatever, it's the internet where "fact" is the only forbidden ...

I think the Vast majority of bike purchases are entry-level bikes, for kids or cruisers for adults. For dedicated shops it seems still that entry-level bikes make up the largest volume of sales---and probably are accompanied by the high-markup accessories (helmets, gloves, bottle cage, bag or basket or rack.)

If I see a shop which stocks, say Giant ... all that means to me is my choices are limited there. That shops stocking Giant, or Trek or whatever doesn't mean a thing to me ... and what would it mean to someone who didn't know either company anyway (first-time buyer)?

So ... the store might be an advertisement for "trek" (if it is a good shop with good people) but in no way is "Trek" advertisement for the shop.

I assume that people who are buying a more expensive bike have done a little research. So the fact that a shop sells a brand will only matter if the person has looked at that brand elsewhere (likely online, or heard about it from a buddy.)

I also don't know if online shoppers want a showroom ... I assume people who are new or newish to buying a serious bike might want to see it in person .... and getting fit is always an issue online (and can be at stores---plenty of stories about salespeople pushing whatever size is on the floor, regardless of what size the rider needs.)

What I expect is that someone will develop, produce and market the "fiteromerterizer" which will be a completely adjustable set of contact points----everything which can be adjusted on a bike----stem length and angle, bar width, seat and head-tube angle, seat post length, crank length, bar width ... (though I expect, given the number of bar profiles, swapping bars would be step two.)

Basically, it is possible to set up the geometry of any frame in any size ... in fact, all the mass-produced bikes from the past few years and the current season would be in memory, with some sort of audio alert when the operator hit the right size for that frame ... so that Any bike could be "reproduced" in the shop.

That way a customer could try everything from Canyon to Specialized, any brand, any model, any size ... and then the dealer could order from any manufacturer.

The idea of stocking every bike of every model in every size is a joke.. In fact, the thread "Catch-22" (Catch-22) discusses just that thing. The guy wants a Domane or a Roubaix ... and is in an urban area with lots of shops ... but No one stocks his size.

To me, the idea of a "showroom" is as outdated as the idea of a car lot. People who want to buy cars nowadays are much better served going online. I can see real-time inventory of all the car dealers around me in whatever radius I might be willing to travel, I can compare prices, I can know in advance if the car I want will be there and can come prepared to bargain (my wife and I just bight her a new car and it worked well ... and knowing we could walk away and still get a good deal elsewhere gave us Big bargaining power.)

Seems to me that the traditional "bike store' doesn't do so well catering to just the high-dollar specialty crowd ... so keep the showroom space for the Wally-bikes, which people will want to walk in and walk out with, and for the real bikes, set people up with whatever they want that's on the market.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 08:12 AM
  #73  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,460

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5465 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by dmcdam View Post
The mothership is probably making a profit selling franchises. Are the franchisees making money is another thing altogether. Possibly doing okay if they're owner/operator scenarios.
i am always amazed art the amount some people are willing to overpay for the simplest services. Five-dollar cups of coffee? I don't get it. paying someone to change your cassette? Maybe once.

Maybe that's why none of my businesses are still around. (Actually, the best one was just under-capitalized ... same with the second-best. Otherwise, I suck as a businessman, i guess.)
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 08:37 AM
  #74  
San Pedro
Senior Member
 
San Pedro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kota, Aichi, Japan
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: 2011 Giant Seek R3, 2015 Specialized Allez Elite, 2017 Giant TCR Advanced 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

I think the Vast majority of bike purchases are entry-level bikes, for kids or cruisers for adults. For dedicated shops it seems still that entry-level bikes make up the largest volume of sales---and probably are accompanied by the high-markup accessories (helmets, gloves, bottle cage, bag or basket or rack.)

If I see a shop which stocks, say Giant ... all that means to me is my choices are limited there. That shops stocking Giant, or Trek or whatever doesn't mean a thing to me ... and what would it mean to someone who didn't know either company anyway (first-time buyer)?

...

Seems to me that the traditional "bike store' doesn't do so well catering to just the high-dollar specialty crowd ... so keep the showroom space for the Wally-bikes, which people will want to walk in and walk out with, and for the real bikes, set people up with whatever they want that's on the market.
I'm in agreement here. If I want something for my road bikes I'm researching, and willing to learn something new because to me that's enjoyable. Also as the price goes up, the more I'm willing to wait for something to ship to me.

However, if my kids need a new bike or something breaks and they need a part I'm much more likely to take them to the store and pick up whatever they have. They don't care about bikes as long as they can ride them. The same goes for a lot of people who use bikes to commute a couple miles a day or to go to school on. That type of business is going to stick around I think, at least in areas where you have enough people riding.
San Pedro is offline  
Old 02-09-18, 08:41 AM
  #75  
dmcdam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 617

Bikes: Opus Vivace F1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
i am always amazed art the amount some people are willing to overpay for the simplest services. Five-dollar cups of coffee? I don't get it. paying someone to change your cassette? Maybe once.

Maybe that's why none of my businesses are still around. (Actually, the best one was just under-capitalized ... same with the second-best. Otherwise, I suck as a businessman, i guess.)
I think there are two types of people who fall into the market for these services. The first are those that just are not mechanically inclined at all, and know it. These types usually don't have even the most basic tools and lack the confidence to tackle anything themselves, despite the most detailed Youtube instruction. The second are those with a lot of money that just like to be catered to. Whether they see their time as more valuable doing other things, or they just like the feeling of someone taking care of them, they're more than happy to plunk down cash for services that they could likely tackle themselves. Now add in the convenience of not having to pack up your bike and drive to the shop (and wait or go pick up in a few days), and I'm seeing how a Velofix-type business could be pretty successful. People will pay a premium for that kind of service. That premium might allow an owner-operator to pay the franchisor, his creditors, himself, and maybe even turn a bit of profit over and above that. In the end I suspect these franchises could be akin to buying yourself a decent paying job. The better you are at marketing yourself to corporate groups, clubs, local races etc., would be the difference between a decent job and a good job.
dmcdam is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.