You can have all sorts of fancy stuff in the shop such as coffee, kit etc but it all boils down to staff and customer service. I'd happily pay a bit extra if the service is great and friendly. I recently ordered some tights, the LBS took 5 days to get them in and then got p*ssed of with me when I returned them because they were too small. Its stuff like this that makes you wonder why you even bother especially as internet retailers are super cheap, have excellent free delivery and dont bat an eye lid when you return something for exchange.
What would be the ultimate bike shop
A decent selection of spares.
elchenuk - Member
...I'd happily pay a bit extra if the service is great and friendly. I recently ordered some tights, the LBS took 5 days to get them in and then got p*ssed of with me when I returned them because they were too small. Its stuff like this that makes you wonder why you even bother especially as internet retailers are super cheap, have excellent free delivery and dont bat an eye lid when you return something for exchange.
I think your actions contradict your statement. The shop would have had to pay for those tights that they got in specially for you. Fair enough if they made the mistake, but not otherwise.
There are two great shops I use/have used down here in Sth Aus;
one is http://www.bmcr.com.au - my 'local' shop. They are in the city, open 8.30, close 6, 10-3 on Saturday closed on Sunday. Being in the city they open this bit earlier and close later so that before and after work you can drop by and get what you need without breaking balls to get there before they close. They specialise in Workshop stuff with only about 20 bikes on the floor - mix of commute and "proper" MTB stuff, lots of tools, tyre choice etc. Focus is sevice - to bike and to customers (stuff like remembering your name, workshop being seperate but not hidden so you can see whats up and still talk to the Mech as he works)
other is Over The Edge - http://www.otesports.com.au - these guys are in the middle of nowhere, but just like the Fruita sister shop are right next to killer singletrack; being somewhere that you'd only go specifically to MTB means they focus on top-end bikes and blingy bits, but with not much else in the town, they can afford to do the couch, vids on the TV, coffee machine type thing. Also bring in other local businesses - collabrative beer and wine with a local wine-/brew-ery, locally grown dyed and made wool garments, frozen meat and fish from the area to throw on the BBQ after riding, etc
But like cycleworlduk said, put a few days aside go look at other shops, see what works, what doesn't; but don't limit it to just bike stuff - I worked in and outdoor store that was one of the first to layout like a high fashion boutique with great effect - punters were more comfortable and the staff knowing what they were talking about brought the hardcore in too combined with a large and often exclusive range (we used to get models and or colours that no-ne else in the country got as we would order enough that they'd let us order from the US selections etc)
get pretty close to online shop prices for consumables like tubes, pads and tyres. And stock quality items, not cheap bilge. Establish ordering paths that mean you can get me something as fast as I can get it from CRC.
Stick a couple of guys up front who know what they're talking about but aren't smart about it and make sure you've got a mechanic who can do what he says he can and you can forget about the coffee and girls with big knockers. That'll do it for me.
Firstly, good staff, people who will spend 10 mins having a chat (if they're not busy), who are riders themselves, can give advice and actually want to look after the customers.
Secondly enough bling to aspire to but enough mid priced stuff that I can afford.
Lots of "replaceables", tubes, brake pads, chains, grips, etc. The kind of things that I need at 9am on a Saturday morning when I realise I have no pads left and I’m leaving on a ride in 30 mins. I know you can’t stock everything but having something of most things is very useful.
Clothes and shoes to try on, I am a big bloke with strange feet so can’t buy cloths and shoes of t’internet, lots of stock and somewhere to try it on would go down very well.
Late hours and Sunday opening. I work long hours during the week, if it was open at 7pm I would pop in for a tube instead of going to Halfords. I would also go in on Sunday and buy stuff when being dragged around town by the missus so as to avoid going to Morrison’s.
Nice workshop at the front of the shop that will do the odd quick repair if they are quiet and will happily let you watch them working.
I think that will do, it would certainly be a good start.
as samuri - if you've got the right staff, the rest looks after itself. good opening hours for people who work (i.e. the people who will actually be buying stuff from you, yes I could wait till the weekend, but i'd rather be riding then and it's quicker for me to order online). cheap consumables and i'd be in and out regularly enough that i'd be buying more expensive stuff from you. do me little deals to keep me coming back - like if i'm paying full whack for say a headset, don't charge me your full service price for fitting it. do it free of half price or something.
I dont know if it is possible, but i agree with samuri. Something that often irritates me is, i try to spend my money at a shop, only to be told 'you'll have to wait a week for that to come in', and so i just go and buy said item on chain reaction the next day...
Is there a way to make that quicker? Oh, and staff who
a) know what they are talking about
b)DOnt try to sell me a whole now wheel just because my free hub has failed ( i wont be using that shop agian)
Late opening on a Tuesday, that way I can remember what I've broken/need to replace from the weekend and see if you have it - if not I've time to order from CRC, if you have late night opening on a Thursday say, I'll buy from CRC and ask you to fit it (or fit it myself).
If your servicing a bike get my number - get me to write it down (my fault if it's wrong) and then call it in front of me (to make sure you can read it correctly) to make sure it's correct (local place to me dishes out keyfobs with a barcode on it - all my details are linked to the barcode and then a sticker with a copy of the barcode can be placed onto the bike with the job to be done in the system, makes control much easier.
If something crops up (ie won't be ready/new part required) call me to explain, I'm not too fussed about new gear that is required but I hate travelling to find that actually, no my bike isn't ready despite being told it will be (I do have to commute for an hour or so to get to my LBS though).
A4 sheets with local routes on, NWMTB had these when I popped back home the other year, cost a coupla quid I think and were great, meant I could go out and potter on some new stuff.
I'd also be happy with a 2 tier system of servicing.
Ie - premium, 24 hour turnaround or less (if possible) 1.5x rate say.
Normal 3-4 working days to complete.
Online booking would be good to, spesh if you get a choice of dates/times (but make it clear that only work booked in will be performed to stop people booking a BB in and expecting their brakes to be fitted too say). I work in a lab servicing 7 chemical planets, we have lead times for all the tests (+5% overage) so we can give a pretty good estimation of when something will be completed running a similar system.
Club associated with the shop or discounts to a specfic club.
Limited opening Sunday morning (til 11am for town centre say), although as a shop - whats wrong with all day Sunday and tickover/closed during the week.
epicyclo - I don't think I do contradict myself, its not as if those tights could not be sold on easily enough, and an item that may fit for one manufacturer will not necessarily fit for another manufacturer which is why said item was returned. I have returned items from internet shops due to them not fitting correctly, whats the problem with that?
wait a week for that to come in', and so i just go and buy said item on chain reaction the next day...
Is there a way to make that quicker? Oh, and staff who
That could/would mean given todays postage/carriage prices that a shop may have to give you a "part" at a loss. How do they then make any money to pay themselves and all the super staff that all the other poster want?
New shops as I understand it have to build up lines of credit, that is a supplier will only allow shopkeeper £XX amount of credit. Therefore if sadi shop is maxed out when you want/need next day delivery then you ain`t gonna get it. There are also min order amounts so that carrier charges are servicable I do believe.
Internet shops can do it because they are buying in bulk. Stock it high flog it cheap. Most if any small lbs trying to get established or otherwise cannot afford that.
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