cookeaa - Member
For the likes of us I think lbs will end up being treated as workshops/distress purchase places.
TBH I don't see less "Serious" cyclists or new commuters bothering with the "traditional" LBS for much longer, first place anyone looks for anything these days is google, which will take them to CRC/Wiggle/Evans/Halford's websites and that's where they'll buy bikes and kit from 90% of the time... The Web has pretty much done for the LBS, this ain't news.
What makes more sense is something more like a "service centre" but for bikes...
No glad-handing yuppies into buying a composite ego chariot, no working for biscuits, no glass fronted cabinet full of XTR at full RRP (Which no bugger will ever buy), and no row upon row of bikes that you can't sell at a profit....
Keep it simple, middle aged woman called Sue who does the bookings, fella called Mike or Dave who runs the workshops and a couple of underlings who have yet to earn the right to be called by name...
They don't care if you order the parts or pay their exhorbitant markup (to reflect their costs in obtaining your desired parts at short notice), the only stock they might hold should be cables, inner tubes and lubricants.
But they'll do a quick, professional job of changing pats, doing a full service, full build up of a frame, true a wheel, bleeding brakes... Basically whatever jobs people traditionally use an LBS workshop for, they'll even come round and pick up your bike in a Van if you like...
I can see it now; small business unit on an industrial estate, opposite an MOT testing centre, No frills...
The workshop is the only element of an LBS left that is even potentially profitable really, do away all the shop front bollocks and loss making overheads and you might make reasonable business out of it.
All IMO of course...
POSTED 2 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST
Do YOU KNOW ME??
I don't sell bikes, So I do service only and custom builds, (workshop wise) and I am based in the village car and MOT garage!!
I do hold a bit of stock mainly wear and tear items, chains, cassettes, brake pads/blocks, BB, cables, bar tape, bearings, tyres, mudguards, cleaning product and lubes etc. and can order in high end parts when asked.
All to help with a quick turn around for the customer,imagine having to order chains in 1 and 2s and as the work come in....lot of wasting time = lost money.
Also this "service centre" has to be in a Very good location. like a big town/city where people commute or good riding area.
When I start FTR (Finely Tuned Ride), (mobile to start with) I knew that "bike service" only would not pay the bills all year round, which is why I also do,
Race and Event support (inc multi day cycle rides)
And I still do pick up and drop off if needed.
I also like how much variety I do.
I do think service/basic parts can work but like I said you would need to hold stock of the wear and tear parts for quick turn around.
Talking of which better unpack the delivery I just got.....