New bike shop: Belper, Derbyshire
Looking to open in Belper.
What are people’s thoughts on what is needed to succeed, what would people like to see?
There has been:
– Andre at Cyclone
– Mark from Mark Anthony’s
– Stef from Buzz cycles
– Belper Cycles (still open but not sure how)
All failed except Cyclone, so it’s clearly tough.
It would be great to have a shop back in Belper offering top service and products from the top brands.Posted 8 months ago
What are people’s thoughts on what is needed to succeed
The death of the internet.
That or the backing/support of a big premium brand and a massive social media presence.
HTH.Posted 8 months ago
A decent range of spares and clothes and the like.
I’m in Matlock. If I need something quickly or want to try some gloves/a helmet etc and Fearn’s/Zepnat don’t have it, it’s a 40-mimute drive to 3/4 shops in Sheffield v a 20 minute drive to you in Belper. I’d need to be pretty confident before heading your way, although I’d certainly prefer to shop locally. I guess people coming up from Derby to ride in thr peak might feel exactly the opposite though.
Good luck if you do it!Posted 8 months ago
There was a bike shop in Helper 25-30 years ago selling all the trick stuff back in the hsyday. Shop over two floors as I remember. What was that called?Posted 8 months ago
I really wouldn’t bother with Belper. None of the shops have been a success, I’d but it down to location and the relatively low number of cyclists that use Belper for local support.
I’d look at Ilkeston, in particular the low cost shop rental would keep overheads low. Ilkeston has a cycle club that has grown from nothing to over 400 in 3 years. The ilson rides all take place from the market place and the number of new riders going means there are real opportunities to guide newcomers and influence their bike choices. Having strong links with a club and investing in a local cycle community is what will help local bike shops standout.
Belper is a poor choice, not enough neighbouring towns to make it worthwhile in my opinionPosted 8 months ago
Good luck but competition from JE James in chessie? I want good (cool) brands at a good price (crc cheap) in the right size (fat boy for me) but I guess that’s like the old Bontrager thing where you normally have to pick 2.Posted 8 months ago
I’d suggest having a look at Ilkeston Cycle Club rides (all posted on Strava and no issues with non-members just turning up for ride). Ask the questions about what people want and if the club would be interested in a local sponsor willing to offer benefits to their members.Posted 8 months ago
You’ll need to be a distributor of something like transition, Satan Cruz or similar. and have shit hot mechanics and a strong online presence. And sponsor a few riders. Youll not get the passing trade in Belper to run a stand-alone shop otherwise.Posted 8 months ago
Open a bike shop in Ilkeston, your having a laugh, ICC may be a popular cycling club but the variety of bikes ridden by their various members you would have to stock a huge amount.Posted 8 months ago
I live in Ilkeston and the best bike shop by a country mile is Evans cycles in Shirebrook, I’m not particularly a Mike Ashley fan but that bike shop is fantastic, really helpful staff and friendly, the quality and quantity of stock I’ve never seen elsewhere, so take a look there first as it’s only 30 minutes driving from Belper and if you think you can compete best of luck.
There was a bike shop in Helper 25-30 years ago selling all the trick stuff
The one on Bridge St, used to stock Kona and Sunn bikes? I lusted after some of those Sunn bikes,and my mate bought a blue Kona Fire Mountain.
Buggered if I remember the name, would have text my mate, but I think the mobile no. I had for him last worked in 2011 after he moved to the lakes!!
Edit – sorry to the OP but it does seem to be a bike shop graveyard, I always thought it would have been a town that could sustain one, but history seems to suggest not. I only live down near Darley Dale, and I don’t think I even stopped to look what was in the last one that set up in Matlock Bath. I did try to be loyal to Samway’s in Derby but years of indifferent service just meant I learned to work on my bike and just buy on line, as my life is very limited on free time.Posted 8 months ago
As a youngster, we only ever went to Belper for two things. One was to drool over expensive bike kit we couldn’t afford at the time and the other was to play pool at the pub with the topless barmaids.Posted 8 months ago
There’s Velo Bavarian in Duffield mostly for Roadies and Big on Bikes in Little Eaton who provide great maintenance for road and MTB.Posted 8 months ago
Neither of these were around 10 years ago so I think you’d struggle to find a place in an already crowded market.
play pool at the pub with the topless barmaids.
Duke of Devonshire, almost across the road from the shop.Posted 8 months ago
Duke of Devonshire, almost across the road from the shop.
That’s the onePosted 8 months ago
If you own a property in Belper you’ll be able to make a living through a bike shop. If you have to pay rent you won’t be able to make a living.
Topless cycle mechanics might be worth a shout? Or just an apron?
The Naked Cycle Mechanic, you could do a book.Posted 8 months ago
There was a bike shop in Helper 25-30 years ago selling all the trick stuff back in the hsyday. Shop over two floors as I remember. What was that called?
That would have been Cyclone. Sold kona and Sunn amongst a few others.Posted 8 months ago
Thanks for the love for Ilkeston CC. Got a few members in Belper. We’ve already got discount deals in place with 3 bike shops and a specific brand as well, so while a good shop in the town would be great, and we love to support local, it wouldn’t be guaranteed.
Belper will struggle as a location I reckon, though I’d love you to prove us wrong. I’m guessing the fact that it keeps winning High Street of the Year awards pushes rents up.
Quite a bit of competition as well – within half an hour you have at least 3 reasonable bike shops in Derby, 2 in Matlock, shops in Duffield and Little Eaton, Decathlon at Giltbrook, then Leisure Lakes at Breaston before you hit the Nottingham bike shops. And I’ve not included Halfords for picking up bits.
I can see you really struggling to find a niche/customer base that will pay enough to make a success. Sorry.Posted 8 months ago
I have been in cycle retail for 17 years now working for leisure lakes, I also broke off and set up my own shop in Sheffield in 2010 but soon returned when I wasn’t making money. I also run Detail Bike Tech in Holbrook now as small growing business just doing repairs, service work, wheel building, suspension etc and I also spanner for UCI track Team HUUBPosted 8 months ago
Wattbike. From my experience over the year I’ve found unless you have a lot of money behind you so you can afford to buy the stock holding and therefore obtain bigger margins on products it’s not worth doing or be prepared to work super hard for little return when it comes to cycle retail. Customers drive pricing down and it seems to be the only industry people refuse to pay the ticket price and despite suppliers trying to set price fixing, it’s simply not possible and you find it becomes a race to the bottom, driving prices down making the only way to survive by selling massive volume on super low margins. You can look at the accounts for other shops online and see how little they actually make. CRC often can sell some products less than what we buy them for for example. Working for a shop the pay is crap but you were often enticed to work there as you got everything at trade…. now there is no incentives as sale staff can buy products cheaper on line than direct from suppliers! This makes makes finding good staff and especially mechanics hard as you can only afford to pay them minimum wage which is why a lot of us have pulled away from retail and set up on our own.
I think the only way you could make a shop work is if you set up a specialist shop and stick to your guns only specialising in one area of cycling. It’ll be hard but eventually you will develop a reputation, don’t chase the money as you will soon become over stocked and another failed cycle shop.
I’m now 18 miles from Belper and at a pinch, could walk to JE James. It’s really not very often I go in there and if I do, the chances are they have to order what I want which makes it both quicker and cheaper to order online.
The only thing I would travel that far for would be an experienced and knowledgeable suspension tuner. I can’t think of any of those this side of the Peak District.
Agree with the above about prices. Just bought a shockwiz fro CRC for less than current standard trade, and that’s before you add the vat.Posted 8 months ago
Thanks for all the replies, some really useful advice.Posted 8 months ago
@boilthem – do you do full custom invisframe wraps? Richard in Lovevelo mentioned someone up your way who offered it, not that I need one just yetPosted 8 months ago
As above, it’s a tough industry. There are too many robo shoppers out there to make a living. They try your stuff on and buy online at half the price.
Its difficult to buy bikes as you need the capital which incurs interest. Before you kkow it the bigger boys are selling this year’s model at 30% off which is what you paid at trade. By the time you sell, pay back the interest you might be lucky to break even.
The smaller shops that seem to make it let the big internet shops fight it out for sales and then work on repairs. You might be happy to buy a bike from miles away but you don’t want to post your pride and joy back, the hassle, cost and time puts people off.
So, I believe repairs and upgrades are where the living is. Let people buy their own products off line which might be cheaper than you can supply but you charge them full price to fit, service, repair.
I think there is a market in suspension servicing if you are good at it. Some people don’t have the time or expertise to remove and fit forks or shocks. Being able to drop a bike off and pick up again is appealing to some people.
Sadly, the majority of your work will be cheap bikes, probably kids bikes that are no fun to work on but they will be your bread and butter.
I remember as a kid going to my local bike shop, asking for a few items and just paying the rrp. As tomhoward says, those days are long gone. The customer knows exactly what things cost online and if they get over charged (in their opinion) prepare for bad feedback online and the Internet warriors posting questions on forums asking “how much would you pay for……”
Good luckPosted 8 months ago
Hi @MoreCashThanDash Yes that’s me. Drop me a line at email@example.com if you want your bike wrapping. 👍Posted 8 months ago
Possibly later in the year 👍Posted 8 months ago
Would love to see a decent LBS in Belper – think to survive it would have to properly engage and be part of the local riding scene & spots. Derwent Valley corridor from Blackrocks to Ambergate is becoming horrendously popular with riders in the last few years, with all the trails *cough* popping up in the Valley. The MTB traffic on an average day reaching into the few hundreds (yes i have counted). A LBS thats fully part of the scene would go down well.
Also would wonder if Belper would be the best spot? – a few miles down the A6 might suit better with Cromford / Wirksworth providing more of a rider catchment area, cheaper rents and absolutely bang in the middle of the local MTB ‘zone’.
Think it would be worthwhile seeing about stocking the multitude of local Derbyshire based brands that are about. Stanton for example, Forme (their Blackrocks hardtail anyone?) and all the others I cant remember off the top of my head.
Also just a shout out for (who i work for!) SetupClothing.com – Local mtb apparel brand based in Cromford and found most often up Blackrocks cutting the trails and picking up the litter!
CheersPosted 8 months ago
If I were to open any shop in Belper it wouldn’t be on Bridge Street. Shops seem to last only a few months on there unless it’s specialist like the gun shop or George’s chippy!
Thinking big – take on ChuckleButties old building by the river – sell right-nice kit and bung an Artisan cafe in! The views alone will bring in tons of non cyclists and people can park easily too.
You’ll make a mint! 🙂
…or you could open a Barbers – we’re short of those!Posted 8 months ago
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