Grocer promises it is ‘taking bicycles seriously’

Tesco’s Bike Shop plans step up a gear

Tesco has revealed that its in-store Bike Shops trial has been a storming success, doubling bicycle sales for the retail chain.

Confounding expectations that the supermarket giant has not invested in servicing, a spokesperson for Tesco revealed to BikeBiz that in-store Bike Shop staff are being trained to meet Cytech, the bicycle industry mechanic accreditation standards.

The spokesperson told BikeBiz: “It was always our intention to take it seriously and we have trained our Bike Shop staff in Cytech recognised courses.”

Eight Tesco stores currently include the pilot ‘Bike Shops’, but despite reportedly strong sales, the grocer maintained that it currently has no plans to roll the Bike Shop concept out to more of its 450-strong superstore portfolio around the country.

“It’s still a trial but we’re extremely pleased with how it’s going,” the spokesperson added. “Our sales have improved 100 per cent on bicycles since we set up the Bike Shops.”

Earlier this year, bike shops spoke out on Tesco’s in-store ‘Bike Shops’, with many feeling that it didn’t prove a threat to the UK’s cycle dealers.

Cycling On owner Steve Barnett told us: “On balance, my own feeling is that the independent retail sector has little to fear from Tesco or any other supermarket. You cannot get away from the basic fact that what we do is incompatible with their business models.”

Also speaking earlier this year, Verdict Research’s retail analyst James Flower told BikeBiz: “I think it is significant, but I can’t see it being developed much more in terms of depth and specialism. It could, however, certainly be rolled out into more stores where space allows. I think the offer will certainly stick to children’s and family leisure bikes sourced from the Far East. For example I can’t see, even in a number of years’ time, the latest offerings from Bianchi and Colnago being offered…”

Flower added that other supermarkets could follow Tesco’s lead by offering ‘Bike Shops’ in-store: “I believe they might, where they have space. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s already offer small bike and accessory ranges in store as well as larger ranges online.”

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