If the Met Office figures are anything to go by, summer is already underway and the UK’s cycle retailers will be making the most of the increased footfall.

RETAIL COMMENT: Summer sales

There’s a downside of course; we’re all stuck inside while there’s a cycling revolution going on outdoors. Time to book one of those ‘day off’ things?

The word ‘revolution’ has, however, been tossed about a lot, especially in press releases coming from London’s cycle-fanatical Mayor’s office. But it’s happening, or at least it is at weekends. Check out any green space or towpatch and see if you can spot a family cycling, a group of enthusiasts heading out to a trail or a cyclist ‘walking’ the dog.

So while there’s an abundance of customers, it’s safe to assume you’ll complete another year in business. Well, you might, but with flying colours?

Are your staff trained on basic sales skills? Will any sales slip because shop floor staff cannot quickly, politely and concisely respond to a question without seeming overly patronising? BikeBiz now sends a Mystery Shopper out each month to delve deeper into the trade’s good and bad habits. Perhaps as a store owner you could experiment by introducing an unknown informant on a monthly basis. With luck, the feedback will be positive, but introducing an impartial third party could also pinpoint a lack-lustre sales loser.

Is your shop looking as vibrant and inviting as the weather outside? Assuming the forecasts are accurate, this is a peak time to link sun and cycles. So, how can you brighten up your store? One thing that often strikes me in bike shops is the scuffs and dents on door frames, walls and carpets. It’s unavoidable, of course, but as you’d wipe a dusty bike down, maybe it’s about time you gave your store some TLC? Perhaps one morning per week before the store opens?

When you’re passionate about something it’s often far harder to let imperfections slip, that’s why as a both journalist and BMX enthusiast, this month’s sector guide was far harder to write than any other.

This is a sector where the BSO is perhaps closer to being eliminated than any other. Why? Because the primary audience – 12 to 20 somethings – are suckers for trends and will avoid shoddy quality like the plague. With the bill often being footed by the parent, there’s no need to fear mid-to-high-end commitments here.


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