National high street bike retailer Evans Cycles has announced plans for a new ‘industry gold standard’ staff training programme, along with the opening of four new training centres.
To accompany these developments Evans, owned by Sports Direct parent company Frasers Group, has also created a new head of learning and development job role to lead staff training.
Matthew Atkinson, formerly head of cycling strategy, will take on this new role and will use his 21 years’ experience in the cycling industry to ensure Evans workers are trained on product knowledge, customer service and bike maintenance, as well as giving them opportunities to progress in their career.
Russell Merry, Evans Cycles managing director, and former MD of CSG UK, said: “Evans Cycles has become known for attracting passionate, bike enthusiasts to work in our store network. We are bike people – it’s what differentiates us in the retail space and what makes us who we are.
“We are committed to building on that talent base, working with our brand partners to develop the best bike training programme in the industry to enhance the in-store experience. Whether that’s helping a customer make an informed purchase, explaining a brand’s proprietary technology in simple terms or completing a bike repair to the highest possible standard.”
Earlier this year, BikeBiz spoke in-depth with Russell to hear his plans for the future of the Evans business.
New retail team staff will spend time at Evans Cycles training centres in Manchester, London, Newcastle or Sheffield – where they will complete a series of introductory, technical and brand specific modules.
Evans has also put an increased focus on its Evans Cycles online training platform, which combines in-house content with remote learning from cycling brands. Over 15,000 hours have been under-taken on the learning hub in 2022 alone, with staff offered free riding accessories and industry bike discounts as incentives to complete modules.
Matthew Atkinson said: “We want to establish ourselves as the best in the bike business and that’s not possible unless we continuously invest in our colleagues. Our team of skilled trainers work closely with our brand partners to ensure we are able to give the best advice for every rider and help to improve our performance on the shop-floor and in the workshop.”