Rutland Cycling has begun to mark its 40th anniversary.
Established in 1981 as a cycle hire timber cabin on the shores of Rutland Water, the retailer now has 14 stores across the Midlands.
“Remarkably, that cabin still stands today,” said Paul Archer, director and son of founders Dave and Ann Archer.
“In those early 80s days, summer weekends and school holidays were absolutely vital for trade – we worked hard to find exclusive offers to persuade customers to travel past many other cycle shops to ours and that approach to offer the best products and service is still at the forefront of our business today.”
The first store at Whitwell, Rutland Water, was soon followed by a second store on Rutland Water’s south shore which would go on to become Giant Store Rutland. In the ensuing 40 years, and with BGF investment in 2014, Rutland Cycling has grown with new stores in Peterborough (2015), five stores in Cambridge, and stores at Pitsford Water in Northamptonshire (2017) and Nottingham, which incorporates a Specialized Concept Store (2017).
In 2019, a new purpose-built store was opened in Leicester, as well as a 15,000 sq ft location in Milton Keynes.
Throughout those 40 years, the Archer family have been ever-present, with Dave and Ann Archer’s daughter-in-law Karen now running the business as chief executive officer. “We have seen challenges before,” said Karen Archer, “but the past 12 months have been the most difficult that the business has had to face.
“It was very clear as we entered April last year that we would have to quickly adapt our head office teams to remote working, add additional resource into our despatch and bike building teams and ensure the safety of our colleagues and customers in our stores that remained open for essential retail.
“The obstacles were enormous, but we are a resourceful, agile team, and we were very pleased with our collective response.
“Our customer-first approach, offering the very best products and services, hasn’t changed in the last 40 years, and remains a laser-focus for Rutland Cycling as we look to provide end-to-end excellence for everyone from new cyclists to experienced riders.
“We’re excited to embark on the next phase of the business, and share our passion for cycling with even more people over the next 40 years!”
Read the June issue of BikeBiz below: