Another LBS closure…….

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  • Another LBS closure…….
  • gasgasser
    Member

    Just saw that Chesterfield Cycle Centre is planning to close early 2018…. shame since they did make a good go at it

    Rockhopper
    Member

    I’ve only ever been in there once, despite driving past most days on the way to work. I just got the impression that they weren’t stocking any of the mainstream brands.

    The internet is killing local bike shops as a far as parts and clothing is concerned. Great news if you are a punter and know what to do with a spanner but bad news if you are trying to employ a few folks and pay the mortgage.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Subscriber

    Yeah is a shame, always preferred them to other local bike shops. In this day and age I imagine it’s a mare to keep a smallish bricks and mortar shop going. More details on their Facebook post. Look to be some bargains there.

    https://m.facebook.com/Chesterfield-Cycle-Centre-1485370851723660/

    gasgasser
    Member

    Yes

    Thank goodness that Nukeproof factory is way too large for me!

    Looks some good deals though

    orangeboy
    Member

    It’s an unpleasant time for many lbs staff for the first time in 25 years I’m pondering if I will get to carry on my passion as a job

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Great news if you are a punter and know what to do with a spanner

    Not really.

    My local LBS’s let me try stuff on and are brilliant with advice, demos, route guidance etc.

    Don’t really get the internet thing.

    Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    Long live the LBS.

    phil5556
    Member

    Rusty Spanner – Member

    Great news if you are a punter and know what to do with a spanner
    Not really.

    My local LBS’s let me try stuff on and are brilliant with advice, demos, route guidance etc.

    Don’t really get the internet thing.

    Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    Long live the LBS.

    Whilst I agree entirely with the sentiment, I’m lazy, impatient and very guilty of giving in to the convenience of clicking a couple of buttons and something arriving the next day. In 2 different sizes or colours to try on too. It’s just too easy these days, and not just with bike shops.

    I do try and support my LBS for big purchases and the odd service etc. And if I’m buying a bike I want to at least see it before spending out. We’ve just bought ourselves new bikes and travelled nearly two hours to a not so local LBS because he had demo bikes available in various sizes and was great to deal with. My actual LBS is more set up for road bikes.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    If LBS’s won’t price match, I’d be happy to buy and return from the net.

    But they do, 95% of the time.

    If I buy components, they’ll often fit them for free and do little jobs like fitting guards or bottom brackets for nowt.

    The overall cost seems to work out pretty much the same and local businesses stay open.

    Recently, I’ve bought some shooting gear, bike stuff, some RC car stuff and my wife buys a lot of crafting stuff.

    We get involved with the community, get to know people and hopefully help local businesses.

    The cost works out the same, in the long run and it supports the local economy.

    No brainer really.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    I’d question if an lbs that price matches can sustain that, as the internet big boys they are matching rely on selling thousands of items at a small margin. If your lbs is only selling 2 or three of the same thing at the same margins, yes they’ll cover the cost of the product, but not the electric. Don’t get me wrong, it better than nothing, just not enough to sustain them long term.

    psycorp
    Member

    Don’t really get the Internet thing

    Oh the irony.

    A LBS has little value to me to me, so it would appear I do know the value of something 🙄

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Subscriber

    I’m 100% with rusty ^^^
    Unless everyone wants to squeeze every purchase to the lowest possible price and can do all of their own spannering, be very concerned about the shrinking number of LBS’
    Go to the company’s house website, check on LBS financials – grisly reading.
    I always start with LBS and then tell them I will price check – but tell them I’m not chasing lowest possible price; response is – and always has been – we’ll never be the lowest but we’ll do our best.
    That’s good enough for me.
    Online buying has it’s place but – you’re supporting jobs in…..Germany, for example; bike discount, for example, comes to mind. I’ve bought from them but only because I couldn’t get anywhere near their pricing for 2 specific items in the UK.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Bought an RC car today.

    RRP £135.
    Lowest internet price £109.

    I paid £113 at my local shop, BUT he’s given me loads of advice, will help with any build problems and has introduced me to the local RC club.

    Not an exact price match, but how much is the goodwill, advice and repeat business worth?
    Much more than £4.00.

    Sue bought an AWOL from Blazing Saddles in Hebden last year.
    I don’t tell her what to buy or where to go, but they have an excellent sales person in Anna who is friendly and knowledgeable.
    It’s her money, she likes to talk to female riders who can advise her on the best bikes and kit for her use and she wouldn’t listen to me anyway.
    🙂

    Anna and Gareth are superb.
    I absolutely, completely trust them to provide good, honest advice.
    Because of the excellent service and advice she received, she’s bought a helmet, clothes, mudguards, lights etc from them and won’t entertain the idea of going anywhere else.
    They have a loyal customer for life.

    No, they didn’t discount the bike, but they’ve discounted other stuff.
    For her, it’s perfect.

    Similar experiences with Ride On in Rawtenstall and Mike Cookson in Whitefield.

    Conversely, I’d never, ever buy a bike from Spa in Harrogate again.
    I’ll order bits online, because I can’t get them anywhere else, but the attitude of both the owner and wheelbuilder means they’ve lost out on several thousand pounds worth of sales.
    I buy my Carradice stuff direct from the factory, even though Spa are much cheaper.
    All the staff at Carradice are friendly and helpful, even the bloke who owns the company.

    Just the owner and bloke who built my wheels at Spa btw.
    Arrogant, unhelpful, miserable bastards.
    Not the poor lads in the shop, who were excellent, btw.
    I feel sorry for them.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    In this day and age I imagine it’s a mare to keep a smallish bricks and mortar shop going.

    Times have changed. Despite most of my local competition having closed down within the last couple of years (everyone locally assumes I must be raking it in as a result!), we’re really struggling right now too. The phrase “use it or lose it” is quite appropriate right now. I get that many people don’t see the value in an LBS, that’s fair enough. But there’s many that do still too.

    I wish I could explain what is happening right now in the bike industry, cos from what I hear the internet boys haven’t exactly had it too easy either recently. Seems like everyone is working hard just to stay afloat and nobody is making any money!

    Love what I do and have had some great experiences doing it, but I’ve never felt quite so unappreciated and worthless as in the last few months professionally… The shops are literally having to give everything away at cost price these days and often that still isn’t good enough for the bargain hungry consumers! I hope things change I really do, but when even the best shops are struggling or going by the wayside (with those not so good having leafy disappeared), and brands literally fighting to see who’s going to go direct to market before each other… The writing looks like it could be on the wall for the LBS!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    What can we do to help?

    Are there any bits we can can get from you that provide a decent profit but would still attract the bargain hunting crowd?

    I don’t really know where you are or what your shop’s called but I do know you’ve gone out of your way to help forum members and are well respected on here.

    Surely we can have a bit of leeway on advertising on here for long standing members who provide an excellent service to the local community?

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Subscriber

    Rusty ^^^ I’m with you on this; might be better to set up a forum or group outside of STW to discuss/exchage opinions.

    If you take away the interest/passion/commitment that LBS have, they would walk; if/when that happens – and it will – where do we go?
    Send my squealing grommet, malfunctioning ‘bit’, or whatever to….who?
    Too many ‘customers’ (bottom feeders) with no understanding of or interest in longer term viability.
    Snowflake who doesn’t get what they want (over entitled) whinges online with very skewed statement of events; LBS busy providing service to paying customer; snowflake feels ignored; resorts to twitter shit. LBS gets pasted – for trying to do the right thing.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    From what I see in Australia…
    There was a big growth in sales over a few years, times were good but that has slowed down, from the manufacturing and distribution side of things they want to keep things growing but they are fighting over a smaller pot.
    The disruptors to the market from Canyon/YT etc. have matured into being seen as good bikes not just cheap alternatives.
    This has shaken up the industry as a whole.

    Other factors – people don’t understand exchange rates. If you are signing an agreement to buy all your years drivetrains from Shimano today then the price will be based on the rate today. When you come to sell them in 6 months the pound/euro rate may well mean that the German one looks cheaper – that isn’t the UK side gouging the price it’s the way it falls – nobody notices when the UK price is less.

    The big boys have a lot of power to support shops if they want to. Speaking to some people in the trade here the view is the large blue company doesn’t give a shit how their product gets out so long as people buy it. The Large red one do and have made efforts to support local shops and distribution – you can’t buy SRAM products from CRC in Australia now. The pricing here has got sharper and it’s working well – shops are selling GX Eagle for similar prices to the internet.

    There is a mentality of not wanting to ask – the number of threads in here asking for where to get small parts/fork spares etc. is amazing my normal answer is any shop that has an account – they will just get it put in with their order and get it to you. The bit where you walk in and ask at the counter for something has gone away.

    plenty more but the main thing is a lot of people have decided that internet is cheaper, mechanics are bad and nothing will change their minds even facts.

    poah
    Member

    Everyone else feels the pinch. I’m going to get my stuff the cheapest from a reputable seller.

    I buy online for cheapness and the fact i don’t have the time to go to a shop

    ivantate
    Member

    I am back to using local shops, probably because I am not wearing things out so quickly and probably a bit wiser.
    If I want something cheaper, I usually buy it used.

    milky1980
    Member

    I’ve made a conscious decision to use my LBS/bricks and mortar shops as much as possible for the last 18 months and it’s been a good experience. Not only has it been a good experience but I’ve spent less too! Having to walk into a shop and get something definitely cuts down on those impulse buys it’s too easy to do online. So while I may have spent more per item (but not by much as the LBS gives me discount without me asking) I have spent a lot less overall. I may not get the exact thing I was after sometimes but I nearly always have something that is of equal competence and price. Add in that I like the experience of going in the LBS (and that they seem happy to put up with me!) then it’s great being able to go in for a part, get advice and even have a little chat if they’re quiet. Add in that they are putting money into some local trails and you have a winner.

    The only part the shops seem to really struggle with is tyres but seeing as there are so many options in size, tread, compound and width I can see why.

    Long live the LBS 😀

    Premier Icon marksnook
    Subscriber

    I was chatting a mate about the whole internet sales thing after hearing intense were going direct sales.he has said for a long time that the retail industry as a whole need to change the way they work. It shouldn’t be a 9-5 anymore, I buy stuff in the evening as a rule because by the time I get home, walk dogs and sort life stuff that’s when it’s convenient. Internet is the only option for a lot of people’s lifestyle. Good or bad that’s life. If retail changed and shops opened late I think more people would use them.
    Whenever I can I buy from lbs because like a lot of people they have helped me out and are a good bunch. They tell me retail on something then say “we can do it for..”
    I like hanging out in there too, maybe give customers beers so they stay!

    kerley
    Member

    As with any business, a business run by good people who know what they are doing and adapting where required will be able to remain.

    I don’t have any of those where I live. The few times I have tried to buy something when needed in a hurry I went to FOUR shops trying to find a standard GXP bottom bracket. 3 of them didn’t know what one was and the 4th found one after 10 minutes and it was priced at double the standard price of internet shops.

    They typically don’t stock what I need and take longer to get it that I can and at a higher price.

    Bought a new light from my LBS the other night after a ride with the owners. Cost a bit more than online but came with a free beer and a natter.

    poolman
    Member

    Rusty- what happened at spa may i ask? The wheelbuilder swore in front of me, not at me but he used a word rhyming with tuck about another customer. Sad really as the wheel was built well and the leather brooks copy bar tape really good quality, and cheaper than brooks.

    The online reviews about the shop are spot on, shame as theres probably a good market for their stuff. I d go again and give them the benefit of the doubt but like the mp s online viewing habits, any employee swearing at customers would be sacked.

    I too always give the local shops first refusal on supplying stuff, the high st will be non existent if we all bought online and used the high st as a showroom.

    Spin
    Member

    Adapt or die.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Spin – Member
    Adapt or die

    True but the industry needs to accept that if they want shop front presence for their goods they need to be part of the solution.
    There is also a percept problem that people have decoy that stuff is cheaper online before they look, then never ask for a price.

    If all the LBS close, where will I get wheels built? I am a keen spannererer of bikes, but have never built a wheel.
    My local shop does an excellent job for £30/wheel, can’t beat that on the internet!

    hodgynd
    Member

    I have always supported my LBS..as much as I can ..the owner has been a mate & a riding buddy for 12 years or more ..
    I do though still buy online ..but anything big he gets first shout on ..however that particular business is bucking the trend and going from strength to strength ( ebike sales & hire playing an ever increasing part ).
    Always sad though to hear of any closure..

    kerley
    Member

    I am a keen spannererer of bikes, but have never built a wheel.

    If you enjoy the mechanics of bikes then I strongly recommend that you have a go at building wheels. I am almost finding excuses to build wheels (i.e. maybe I need a different colour hub)

    I don’t think all the LBS will close, those remaining will be the good ones who are professional, can give good advice and are able to get stock quickly along with a strong set of mechanics (which is the thing you can’t get from the internet)

    Premier Icon frogstomp
    Subscriber

    rusty wrote:

    Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    Including the industry as a whole with its constant merry-go-round of short product cycles to encourage the punters to buy this season’s model – shooting themselves in the foot in a lot of situations.

    mikewsmith wrote:

    True but the industry needs to accept that if they want shop front presence for their goods they need to be part of the solution.

    See Madison’s ramping up of its partner stores programme.

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Subscriber

    I’ve never had a problem with spa always good friendly service and helpful advice but I’ve heard horror stories

    Lbs wise it’s hard as sometimes it’s just easier to order online regardless of the cost.

    I’ve paid 20 quid more for an smp saddle, infact I bought two, than I could have got online but was allowed to trial before I bought so it was well worth the extra but when I wanted some shorts it was going to take about ten days as I’d just missed the weekly order going out and I wasn’t sure on the size I needed. so I ordered online and had them within 48hours

    I don’t mind paying the extra for the advice / chat and I always like a mooch round a bike shop but the lbs can only hold so much stock (and I will generally travel 15-20 miles to an lbs if they have it rather than go online) but online Is so easy these days as said above. Order 2 get within 2 days try on send one back free. So easy and lbs can’t possibly compete with stock levels regardless of pricing

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    Looks a bit more than a small LBS – more like someone who started with £2m and tried to make it into £1m.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    poolman – Member
    Rusty- what happened at spa may i ask? The wheelbuilder swore in front of me, not at me but he used a word rhyming with tuck about another customer.

    The miserable, arrogant comment was aimed at the owner, tbh.

    Wanted a certain rear hub in a certain colour.
    They didn’t check if it was available before building the front wheel.
    Was offered the choice of non matching hubs or a downgraded hub.
    No offer to rebuild the front wheel to rectify their mistake.

    No biggie on it’s own, but combined with several other issues and a terrible attitude from the owner means I won’t use them for big stuff again.
    Shame, great shop otherwise.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    What can we do to help?

    Cheers for your concern Rusty.

    The way I see it, it’s not the customer’s fault. The LBS’ that have already gone tits up are the ones that blame the customers! We’re all free to spend our money where we please, and that includes myself, we have a number of criteria that need to be satisfied (which will vary from person to person) ranging from price to availability, product knowledge to friendliness of the staff etc. I buy online myself (there I’ve said it!) for some things, as and when I see fit to. I bought a new TV about 6 months ago, the RRP was £549, local independent TV shop could do it for me for £499, but ao.com had it up for £399 with a £30 discount voucher and I used quidco for another 3% cashback on top! Bonkers eh, but there you go… If the local TV shop had been able to come within 10% I’d have much rather bought it from them of course, but sometimes they just can’t. And it’s the same with us Bike Shops. I did however need a new washing machine last year, decided I’d much rather trust the judgement of someone who knows a lot more about them than I do, walked into our local shop (only about 3/4 mile from my house, nice and convenient if anything did ever go wrong too) and took their advice on a model and paid £269 for it (having been reduced from £299 already). Was ecstatic with the service, and when I got home I googled the model to check any reviews (sales person was spot on with their advice here too, review exactly what I was looking for) and yes I could have got it for £249, a massive £20 cheaper, online, but quite frankly the service the shop provided was worth way more than £20 all day long. In fact had it been full price at @ £299 I would still have been happy cos well… I know sweet FA about washing machines and I was paying for their time and experience and I valued that. I digress…

    The problem… The bike industry in the UK is owned and run by money men. It’s a play thing for the rich and the greedy. By that I don’t mean it’s replaced Golf as the go to passtime for company directors, I mean that all the big companies are owned by venture capital banks and/or they’re tax write offs for other companies. And then you have paragons of virtue such as Mike Ashley getting involved, threatening to blanket discount ANYTHING in his new stores by at least 25% from the moment it arrives in stock.

    Consumer buying habit is driven by expectation. This is dynamic and it changes and adapts fairly quickly. The greed of the big boys with all the money (and often no need or desire to turn a profit at all, profit might be sanity, but vanity is king in the bike industry!) sees them do anything to put their perceived competitors out of the running. So many brands now are getting shagged online it’s untrue! It’s not just the usual suspects Shimano any more, almost every brand out there is suffering. You’ve got the occasional beacon in a sea of haze (BIG shout out to Whyte in particular here, looking after LBS’, standing firm against price shaggers and also providing good products that people want to buy even @ or near RRP) but mostly these brands just roll over and take it. And when that happens, the problem spirals out of control, because when a rep comes to see me in my shop to sell me X product at Y margin, I’m increasingly wary that in a month’s time it is going to be shagged out online everywhere at a price less than I paid for it!

    THIS IS THE REALITY!

    The customer’s expectation is now that they don’t have to pay full price for anything. Which is fine, as long as we’re all playing on a level playing field. But we’re not. If an XT mech is £50, not £80 or whatever the current RRP is, that’s fine, as long as we can all buy it at the same price so that we can all make some margin on it, even if it’s not as much as we’d like. But we can’t!

    The distributors will tell us that Wiggle/CRC/Merlin etc. pay the same prices for everything as we do in the shops… Well they might do at first, but when the distributor has had a bad month, or they’ve got too much stock of certain products on the shelf, they don’t ring around the houses seeing if we all fancy a piece of the action for say 20% off our normal trade price… They just bulk dump stock to these guys, often for less than they’ve actually paid for it themselves, and then they sell it on for next to no margin just to get the customers out of the shops and onto their websites. So when I see Fizik shoes online @ 50% off, which is way cheaper than I can buy them from the distributor, and only marginally more than I know that the distributor themselves have paid for the shoes from Fizik, I wince!

    Like I said, some brands are worse than others though, so our homework as LBS owners is working out which brands to stock or not based upon their reputation for getting shagged online. Hope is another great success story, and every LBS should be a Hope stockist. By that I don’t mean keep every hub and brake in every colour in stock (no need, Hope will get them to you next day usually, 48hrs max), but sign up with them and keep some stock of the usual suspects in stock. The online guys don’t posses any extra buying power with Hope than we do, and I’ll match a 10% discounted price on any product happily when someone asks.

    Are there any bits we can can get from you that provide a decent profit but would still attract the bargain hunting crowd?

    The absolute BEST thing that my top customers do, the ones that I really value and cherish, is always give me the opportunity to supply them the things they want at or close to the prices they’ve found. You’ve spotted something online you want at a good price, I’m fortunate enough to say I know I have a good number of customers that will ring/email/message me straight away to see if this is something I could supply and still make even a few quid on for them. Sometimes I can’t, sometimes I can, but just giving me the opportunity to do so is fantastic. The words “I’d rather you make a few quid even if its not as much as you’d like than the big online boys” is music to my ears! If I can’t supply said product at a price, then I’m not unhappy cos at least they’ve given me the opportunity to.

    Beyond that though, not much. The changes need to be top down. Something needs to happen to the bike industry for it to cease to be a plaything for the uber rich. It needs to become a business again! Prices will go up for sure, but so will service and expectations will be met more often. Other industries have suffered in a similar way in the past and recovered (Motorbike trade and car spares have both suffered in a similar fashion and recovered to a large degree). But at the moment the greedy money men, often paying little or no tax, are winning the day!

    I don’t really know where you are or what your shop’s called but I do know you’ve gone out of your way to help forum members and are well respected on here.

    I’m not going to advertise publicly, please feel free to drop me a PM if you would like to know. I’d rather you support your own LBS (as long as they warrant it of course) though…

    I give advice (hopefully good) freely. Same applies to all of my customers. Most of them seem to value that, and where they can, choose to spend their money with me rather than online. It’s long been a pet hate of mine the “old school” LBS’ that will charge for advice, or won’t divulge anything until they’ve got you by the short and curlies. We live in a society where everybody can find out pretty much anything by the click of a few buttons or the touch of a screen these days. Often these customers are going to google the advice I’ve given them, and hopefully they will see that it is good, and they will trust my judgement in the future.

    To be fair, one thing that has always been the bain of the LBS but seems to slowly be getting better, is the amount of duff information given on internet forums… We still get the odd customer in to fix something that he thought he could do himself, but cocked it up based on some duff advice, but that has definitely improved a lot over the last few years. The prevalence of some of the big boys, SRAM/Shimano et al all putting good quality tutorials on YouTube these days too helps. We do still get the odd “engineer” (everybody knows one! 😉 ) who “knows” everything but still didn’t manage to fix his bike properly, but a lot of people are doing a better job of home maintenance these days than they used to. And all power to them! I can’t afford to pay £40 per hour or more labour every time my own bikes need work doing to them either, but then there are many that can and are happy to do so.

    If you take away the interest/passion/commitment that LBS have, they would walk; if/when that happens – and it will – where do we go?

    There’s a lot of it already gone! And trust me if there’s one way to kill a man’s passion for something, it’s to make him lose his livelihood from doing it… That said there’s always an exception to the rule, a certain Fat Bike enthusiast has gone bust many times over the years and resurfaces time and time again selling bikes with a passion (and some incredibly strong views about Ebikes!)… 😉

    But joking aside, you’re right. Kill off the passion, it becomes a commodity. That’s what I liked about CRC… To work there you had to be a cyclist, an enthusiast. Now it’s been amalgamated into Wiggle, and they’re all just a bunch of random box pickers and packers in deepest darkest Wolverhampton! 300 odd keen cyclists lost their jobs in the move, OK new jobs were made in the move too, but not necessarily filled by people interested in the products they are selling.

    As with any business, a business run by good people who know what they are doing and adapting where required will be able to remain.

    I don’t have any of those where I live. The few times I have tried to buy something when needed in a hurry I went to FOUR shops trying to find a standard GXP bottom bracket. 3 of them didn’t know what one was and the 4th found one after 10 minutes and it was priced at double the standard price of internet shops.

    They typically don’t stock what I need and take longer to get it that I can and at a higher price.

    You are right. A Bike shop that doesn’t know what a GXP BB is would lose my business ongoing too. Shame I’m not your LBS otherwise I could have provided you a few options on BB, and we could have had a good chat about this whole subject face to face! 😆

    Joking aside, the reason a number of sub standard LBS’ have closed down is cos of a lack of changing with the times. The days when BB’s were all square tapered are long gone!

    Adapt or die.

    You are absolutely right, and I totally agree with you. I don’t see this as the problem though. Read my previous comments on the top down greed in the industry that cause the problems. There are many good LBS’ out there that have adapted well, yet are still struggling right now!

    True but the industry needs to accept that if they want shop front presence for their goods they need to be part of the solution.

    Nail hit firmly and squarely on the head!

    There is also a percept problem that people have decoy that stuff is cheaper online before they look, then never ask for a price.

    This is what gets me. Like I said above, I have a good core number of customers that will always ask if I can price match. Most are inherently lazy though, and if they see the product they want online, iPad in one hand, glass of wine in the other (alcohol is usually involved), they just click buy it now. 9 times out of 10 I could have price matched and still made myself a few quid, AND I’ll usually fit it for free (in my fully kitted out workshop with all the correct tools and a knowledgeable mechanic), whilst making them a good cup of tea or coffee (Yorkshire tea bags or decent filter coffee) too! I’ve even been known to offer the biscuits around… 😆

    I was chatting a mate about the whole internet sales thing after hearing intense were going direct sales.he has said for a long time that the retail industry as a whole need to change the way they work. It shouldn’t be a 9-5 anymore, I buy stuff in the evening as a rule because by the time I get home, walk dogs and sort life stuff that’s when it’s convenient. Internet is the only option for a lot of people’s lifestyle. Good or bad that’s life. If retail changed and shops opened late I think more people would use them.

    I think you’re right. I always wonder how a lot of 9-5 shops stay open. My core hours are til 6 most days, I’m always there til at least 6:30 though, some nights later. We have an offical late night on a Tuesday too. I have often thought would changing to say 11:30-8 every day work…? I see that it probably would in London or other big cities maybe. We open at 9:30, ANY customers before 11am is rare. Friday evenings are our busiest time usually, often have people queuing to be seen from 4pm onwards on a Friday…

    Other factors – people don’t understand exchange rates. If you are signing an agreement to buy all your years drivetrains from Shimano today then the price will be based on the rate today. When you come to sell them in 6 months the pound/euro rate may well mean that the German one looks cheaper – that isn’t the UK side gouging the price it’s the way it falls – nobody notices when the UK price is less.

    Absolutely… “Brexit” is a very dirty word, and of course we’re loathe to put any potential customer off by even mentioning it, but at the end of the day the £ has suffered greatly in the last 18 months as an indirect effect of the Brexit vote. Simple fact of the matter is, prices have gone up across the board through the supply chain, but in many cases the retailers have been very scared to pass those cost increases on to the end user. The sad fact of the matter here is, that everyone in the supply chain then loses out a few %, on what were already pretty slim margins, especially if it has to be discounted to sell it in the first place. This is driving a number of companies, increasing seemingly by the day, to go to a direct sales approach for the UK! And I can tell you that when it comes to warranties in particular, the amount of work done by many LBS’ and distributors to mitigate any fallout (I’ve certainly lent my own bikes out to appease customers when it has not been my fault before, and I know many distributors that have gone above and beyond to help me out too) is massively underestimated! Good luck to Intense, Evil et al going direct… 🙄

    Great to hear that there’s still a lot of support on here for the LBS. However I do fear that like a moth to a flame, there’s a lot of people who systematically buy online that won’t have even clicked on this thread cos LBS was in the title, whereas those that are much closer to their LBS’ will have come on here to show solidarity to a degree.

    If anybody knows the answer to fix the problem, please, I’m all ears! And if you read through all that… Kudos to you! 😉

    oikeith
    Member

    I try to use my LBS where possible, last week I toured all 4 in my local town on one day looking for long sleeve MTB jerseys, 3 didnt have any and one had some horrible looking stuff with flames on. I ended going home and ordering from wiggle.

    I’ll always pop into them first to try and find what I am after but more than not they don’t have it. They offer to order it in, but i can only make it into them on the weekends, its more convenient for me to order online and get it delivered to the local shop via collect plus and collect it one evening a few days later.

    Once when the stars aligned I popped into one of them to look for a winter jacket and he’d just had a fresh delivery of clothes, I ended up walking out with two jackets and two shorts spending 3x what I had OG planned and would have spent online. I guess maybe its good for my bank balance they dont carry what I want…

    Rorschach
    Member

    Is there a short version?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Use it or lose it.

    Trimix
    Member

    We are in a transition phase – in a few years things will end up being quite different. This is driven by pretty standard motives – laziness, profit, desire for good service and passion.

    We want cheap stuff and are lazy, businesses want/need profit. Some providers are passionate.

    Your parents might remember the high-street before supermarkets – but gradually supermarkets have become better at delivering a good customer experience. This is at the expense of their suppliers. They are open all hours and even deliver to your door as well as stocking everything.

    So perhaps in a few more years we will end up with big online retailers with cheap prices at the expense of the manufacturer.

    There will be some space left for service delivered to your door or mobile or where there are enough customers.

    But this cant be delivered by shops as they are now. High-street rents are too high and they cant move to where the customers are.

    When I lived in Hong Kong the car garage would come to your house in the evening, take your car away, service it overnight – then deliver it back in the morning before you needed it.

    They adapt or die. We drive this.

    All those worried LBS owners / employees should be looking to adapt. Get mobile, offer services you cant buy online, sell post ride coffee and cake become connected to the online retailer etc.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Is there a short version?

    Yeah… Greedy men at the top, customers not at fault as expectation not set by them, industry needs to change as business model doesn’t support LBS’ making any money with the prevalence of online price shagging right now.

    That do ya? 😉

    joemmo
    Member

    as firestarter mentions, I think the industry including LBSs are victims of the bewildering array of choice available to the consumer and the expectation this creates. Not just bike shops, pretty much any consumer goods store (see ‘the demise of the high st etc.) Punter sees the thing they want, in the colour they want, goes to LBS and is disappointed that the exact thing, or even a close compromise isn’t available. Goes home and orders online.

    It’s impossible for a physical store (unless its a warehouse) to stock that diversity of brands and items in all their variants but they need to have at least popular consumables and a choice of thing available in a popular category.

    Recent example : I went into (recently deceased) M Steels to get some gloves – because I prefer to buy clothes in person – wasn’t bothered about brand or colour but wanted some bog standard long finger trail gloves that fitted my hands. They had nothing in that category. Went back a few weeks later for some tyre sealant of any type – they had nothing in that category. Wasn’t a huge surprise to see them go under but still sad.

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