That's the message to be relayed to Britain's top mainstream retailers at a conference next week. The Profit Cycle: Making Bike Parking Work for You – will highlight the importance of providing proper cycle parking for customers and staff.

Sell more stuff by being friendly to cyclists

The conference is the first of its kind to be held in the UK. Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, will be among the speakers. The event is being organized by the London Cycling Campaign in partnership with Transport for London, with sponsorship from BikeAway, a cycle parking manufacturer.

“Many businesses have not woken up to the fact that cyclists are fantastic customers," said

Tom Bogdanowicz, campaigns manager for the LCC.

"We hope this conference will get the message across that it’s good for business to ensure that cyclists are welcomed and provided for."

Cycling in London has increased by 60 percent in the past five years, according to Transport for London stats. . LCC says the increase in the number of cyclists has highlighted the lack of proper parking facilities.

The conference – which will be held on Tuesday June 7th at City Hall in London – will include delegates from major supermarkets, high street stores and leisure centres.

Issues covered at the conference will include how to attract new customers who cycle, provision for staff who cycle, liaising with local authorities and meeting environmental and corporate responsibility targets.

Livingstone will be speaking on “Making London a Sustainable City.” Other speakers include Simon Brammer, director of LCC, Richard Evans, of GlaxoSmithKline, Phillip Darnton of Cycling England and Adrian Bell, senior projects manager for Transport for London.

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