The second part of Mystery Shopper's report on London's financial district...


On Your Bike, London Bridge
From the outside, customers may have no idea just how large a store On Your Bike really is. Once inside, you are greeted with two floors packed full of a comprehensive range of bikes covering most sectors.

On entry, Mystery Shopper noted other customers being seen to swiftly, so allowed plenty of browsing time before attracting a staff member.

With the assistance of what seemed to be an enthusiastic biker, I was quickly pointed to a number of bikes spanning my quoted money to spend. With catalogues in hand, the employee continued to stress that a bike should be sized correctly to each individual and although he pointed out his preferential ride, he did correctly assess that it may not be suited to me.

Having spent 15 to 20 minutes going into detail about the various uses of hardtails versus full suspension, my price range and modification, among other topics, I felt educated enough to be sure of the single bike that I would choose to take away.

On Your Bike deserved the sale based on the sales experience and the diverse stock.

Evans Cycles, London Bridge
Based on first impressions, this store wins hands down. The window display was evidently dressed to lure enthusiasts in: it had a stylish Charge Plug and Macneil’s new 24-inch wheeled cruiser. As if that wasn’t enough, Mystery Shopper noted a floor pump chained to the front door for those with puncture difficulties.

Once seen to, the assistant did explain that due to its central London location, off road wasn’t the store’s speciality, but did recommend a Waterloo store that could help.

He proceeded to demonstrate the few bikes that matched my criteria. Having shown me a £799
Specialized bike, I felt the assistant had done enough to secure a sale. He advised me to browse the chain’s website for more choice, following this with a reminder that the store could order in any bike featured online. Having had a thorough check over of a suitable bike, including removal from the rack for Mystery Shopper to climb aboard, I left feeling as though the assistant had correctly educated me in sizing up the right bike.

The nation’s capital has become a haven for the chain store in recent years. The majority of Cycle Surgery’s stores are located within the city, as are many of Evans’ stores. The independent retailer, unless carrying a famous name such as Condor Cycles, is gradually losing presence.

This is the first time Mystery Shopper has covered two examples of a chain store under one review. Both branches of Evans Cycles performed well. However, the London Bridge branch offered its customers far more in the way of service. Both stores have trained staff well in sales techniques, as discussion about after-sales service was present.

Of this month’s independents, On Your Bike was by far the better shopping and sales experience. The sales assistant took time to listen and injected a little passion of his own. He was also restrained enough to make a solid recommendation tailored to my needs.

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