On January 24th, the Evans empire expands again, adding a 3300 sq ft store just off Fulham Broadway. The new store is close to Stamford bridge, home of Chelsea FC, and a short walk from Bonthrone Bicycles. Now on 17 stores, will Evans have 25 by the end of 2005?

Evans Cycles to open new London store

The new Tardis-like store – small from the outside, huge on the inside – will stock 400+ bikes

It’s located at 13-15 Jerdan Place, off Fulham Broadway.

13 of the 17 Evans stores are in Greater London. In November, the chain opened its first north-of-Watford store, a retail-experience shop at Castleford’s Xscape centre.

The first Evans store was opened in Kennington in 1921. There was an original Mr FW Evans. He sold the store in 1950 to Joe Smith who gifted the enterprise to his son, Gary, in 1974. It was a wedding present. Towards the end of the 1970s, Gary Smith upped sticks and moved the shop to larger premises at Waterloo Cut.

This shop prospered and in the boutique-bikeshop mini-boom of the mid-1980s the Evans formula was franchised out to become a loosely amalgamated chain of five shops. By 1993, the franchisees had all been bought out and the chain came under Smith’s central ownership again. Two years ago the chain opened an HQ and distribution centre at Gatwick airport.

Gary Smith has previously told BikeBiz.com that smaller dealers need not feel threatened by the aggressive expansion of the big, independent chains:

"It’s important for the smaller IBDs to succeed. There’s plenty of room for us all but, in time, those IBDs that haven’t moved with the times will be squeezed out of existence."


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