As Local Bike Shop Day looms, BikeBiz catches up with the ACT to find out more about this weekend’s annual celebration
What can we expect from Local Bike Shop Day 2021?
This year’s Local Bike Shop Day, on Saturday 28th August, once again falls at an ideal time to celebrate two key themes.
Firstly, we will be focusing on targeting the number of kids that will be returning to schools; what better time than now to start encouraging the younger generation to start using an efficient, environmentally friendly and healthy mode of transport?
With people remaining hesitant when using public transport at the moment, cycling provides the perfect solution for many parents to get both younger and older children to school safely. Driving isn’t often the most sustainable choice, and Local Bike Shop Day may just be that extra bit of encouragement needed to make the decision to change from four wheels to two.
Secondly, as an industry we need to work together to keep the nation cycling through autumn and beyond, in an attempt to maintain the record-high levels of cycling that we saw last year. It is now pivotal for the cycling industry to do what we can to show all these levels of cyclists that cycling is more than a lockdown fad, and that there are endless reasons to continue riding.
Following a survey completed by IBDs and key members of the cycling industry, there was a majority agreement that Local Bike Shop Day should be delayed to late summer, with the Saturday of August bank holiday weekend being the most popular day chosen. There are numerous industry initiatives ongoing, and these, alongside schemes that the ACT is promoting, such as Local Bike Shop Day and BikeIsBest, are now more important than ever in sustaining the levels in cycling across the UK.
However, it is the bike shops themselves that have more engagement with consumers daily than any other cycling org or initiative, so let’s celebrate what they’re all about. By working together, the cycling community can convince not only the public of the importance of cycling, but also ensure that the Government is continuing to adjust the UK’s infrastructure to accommodate the high numbers of cyclists into autumn.
How much is the day expected to grow from previous years?
Local Bike Shop Day has seen phenomenal increases in engagement year-on-year. The UK’s first ever event in 2018 took place on the 6th October and saw just over 90 shops taking part. The following year – 4th May 2019 – was again a success with over 150 local bike shops getting involved, a growth of 67% from the inaugural year, despite the terrible weather seen across most of the UK.
In 2020, confusion and panic were rife as the UK was hit with a pandemic and multiple national lockdowns. Local Bike Shop Day had never been more important in celebrating the recent upturn in cycling and in drawing attention to all that local bike shops had done for us throughout the pandemic. As a result of this, 2020 saw the biggest growth yet, with a record number of cycling organisations and partners get involved, including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW), BikeBiz, British Cycling, Cycle to Work Day, Cyclescheme, Cycling UK, Cytech, Freewheel, Insync, London Bike Show, Love to Ride, Raleigh UK, Sustrans, The Cycle Show and Transport for London.
In addition to cycling organisations, the day was promoted by a variety of MPs and non-cycling organisations including Small Business Saturday and Indie Retail. A few well-known faces also got on board such as Jeremy Vine, Gail Porter and Sharron Davies.
Thanks to supporters helping to raise awareness of Local Bike Shop Day across a variety of platforms, the day reached over 800,000 impressions, most of which were on consumer-facing channels. Given the success that Local Bike Shop Day has had thus-far, the ACT believes that it is vital to keep the momentum rolling and continue to encourage as many people as possible to get on their bikes whilst also supporting their local bike shops. Local Bike Shop Day 2021 is the ideal way to make this happen.
At the time of writing, we’ve already seen an increase in shops signing up with 312 now listed as participating this year. We are hoping this will grow even further as we start to ramp up promotional activity and partners getting on board. By uniting the industry we can work together towards one of Local Bike Shop Day’s key aims – putting indie shops back at the heart of the UK’s towns and cities.
Why should bike shops get involved?
Local Bike Shop Day is a day organised for the industry, by the industry. It is the day for bike shops to showcase and promote the passion, knowledge and personalised service they offer to their local communities. It is an event that enables individual shops to be part of something bigger than themselves and, in so doing, to use Local Bike Shop Day to drive more footfall through their doors and the doors of other independent cycle shops around the country.
In addition to the pride that IBDs experience on their dedicated day of celebration across the country, there are also additional incentives on offer for retailers to get involved! This year, Cyclescheme will once again be supporting Local Bike Shop Day by providing both consumer and trade prizes as well as a range of POS materials to send to bike shops and helping to spread the word of Local Bike Shop Day through their consumer facing digital channels which has a reach of c. 30,000 followers.
• Cyclescheme will once again be gifting six lucky shops with £150 worth of vouchers to treat themselves and their staff to a night out as a special thank you to those shops engaging the most on social media
• Give your customers the chance to win – Cyclescheme will also be giving four lucky customers who visited a participating shop and requested or redeemed a Cyclescheme certificate the chance to win a £250 cycling gift card
What future plans/ambitions do you have for the next few years?
Local Bike Shop Day initially took inspiration from other similar national events, such as Record Store Day and World Book Day. Record Store Day now sees bespoke records, products and services being designed exclusively for this annual event. Local Bike Shop Day has been following in these very successful footsteps, with many retailers now offering specific discounts, competitions and services to customers on the day in order to drive footfall into stores.
In future years, we hope to see these initiatives grow further still, with more of Local Bike Shop Day’s supporters – both IBDs and suppliers – offering incentives to bike shops and customers, with the potential to create specific ranges of Local Bike Shop Day themed products that can help to spread the word of the distinctive day.
The ACT works hard every year on behalf of the industry to drive sign ups and engagement among the cycling community and to spread the word to current and potential customers. With consistent perseverance and a growing support network, eventually Local Bike Shop Day will become an annual event that is recognised and celebrated by all communities across the UK.
Following last year’s cycling boom, many have begun to recognise the importance of cycling and the countless benefits that it can bring for our health, wealth and environment. Local Bike Shop Day will play a key role in bringing this new-found cycling appreciation to extend beyond the bicycles themselves, and reach the hard-working retailers, mechanics, and employees of the nation’s local bike shops.
For some fun ideas on how your shop can make the most of the day visit: localbikeshopday.co.uk/get-involved
Once you have signed up, ensure you spread the word to your community and encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the hashtag #SupportYourLocalBikeShop!
Sign up now: localbikeshopday.co.uk/sign-up-now