"Buy local," urges Pushys the Australian online bike store. That a webstore on the other side of the world has to promote the fact it "is 100% Aussie" tells you that it’s fighting a foreign foe. And that foe is now very much singular. Where before Wiggle and Chain Reaction were two, they are now one – but either as a "they" or an "it", ChainWiggle ships its goods all around the world, and threatens not just bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK but globally.
Pushys is now, er, pushing back. "We think that we’re taking market share from Wiggle and Chain Reaction," Pushy’s co-founded Peter Van Orveren told Australian trade magazine Bicycling Trade.
"I think [Wiggle and Chain Reaction] still ship into Australia more than what we sell," added Van Orveren, "but we’re growing at a very healthy rate of over 50 percent per year."
Pushys has annual sales of about £18m. It was founded in 2011, and has 110 staff. It can ship product to Australian consumers quicker than its international competitors. The online store is complemented with a bricks-and-mortar store in Canberra, and this too is thriving, also growing at 50 percent year on year.
"We have a pump [online] for $24.95 and [the physical store sells it] for $49.95. We compete against each other, yet we’re growing that business very healthily," said Van Orveren. "A lot of shops say they can’t sell accesories any more because of the internet, but since Pushys Online has been here and all those other guys from overseas, we’ve grown a very successful shop down.
"I think there’s a bright future for brick and mortar stores," concluded Van Orveren. "The good ones will survive, but I think there will be consolidation ahead."