An old cinema proved to be the perfect setting for CJ to expand into. Owner and manager Chris Jenkins speaks with BikeBiz...

Bike Shop Profile: CJ Performance Cycles

How’s business?
We’ve been exceptionally busy this year, the uptake in cycling, especially in ladies cycling, has been far better than we expected and our expectations were already very high.

I think Le Tour de Yorkshire really put cycling on the map in the UK and the Giant brand with Marcel Kittel winning the yellow jersey.

We took on two new brands this year too, in February Boardman Elite joined us and last month Scott Bikes.
The weather has played its part too, we’ve been lucky enough to have a very mild winter and now a very nice hot summer, long may it continue.

Any big sellers for you at present?
Hybrids and our ladies bikes seem to selling well at the moment. Road bikes are always our best sellers though; the Giant Defy range sells out year after year. You can’t beat the value for money for the frames and spec of these bikes. And now we stock the Boardman ‘Elite’ range they sit very nicely next to our Giant Carbon Road bikes. Carbon is ultimately what every ‘roadie’ would like and the market for this expands year after year.

We spoke to you back in 2011 when the business was just one year old. How has the shop changed since?
Since we opened in Feb 2010 a lot has changed. The rapid growth in cycling throughout the UK and our shop meant we needed bigger premises to accommodate more stock and new brands, so in February 2013 we moved to a former cinema, the Old Rex. This allowed us to expand our stock, display things better, introduce new brands and house a larger open planned workshop. 

We now have a new clothing section for men and women and a Bike Fit facility is on its way too. This is a necessity nowadays especially if you’re selling high-end carbon road bikes.

How many staff do you have now?
There are now four members of staff who work full time, which includes myself. I gave up my profession in quantity surveying a year ago to come in here full time. The time was right, we were growing so fast and the business needed a permanent manager and being the owner it was a perfect move.

My father is still involved in the business, but has taken more of a back seat role. Stacey, my better half, oversees all the marketing, admin, accounts of the business. And tries to keep me organised! Then there are our two full time mechanics, John Ferry and Ben Othen. John has been with us since 2010 and Ben has just joined us.

How do you engage with the locals?
This year we have regularly put on events in the shop for local cycling clubs and customers so it gives them a chance to meet and greet the people behind the brands we sell.
We recently catered for an OTE nutrition evening which was helpful to both staff and customers and we also put on a Police bike marking session which allowed anyone whom bought a bike from us or not to get their bikes marked to help prevent theft.

What would you say to someone setting up a bike shop?
If anyone was thinking of setting up their own bicycle shop be prepared for hard work, long hours and expecting the unexpected. There is never a dull day in here. Before setting a bicycle shop up make sure you think about the brands you want to sell and try to secure the accounts beforehand if possible. Always have some spare cash tucked away too as its unbelievable the running costs which go into a business.

01670 712536



Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri 9:30 – 5:30
Sat 9:30 – 5:00
Closed Sundays

The Old Rex Cinema
Front Street
NE23 6RF

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