Manchester, NH (PRWEB) July 10, 2012
Just as Amazon and iTunes have taken market share from the local book and music stores, local bike stores also find themselves under attack from online retailers. There is a growing group of cycling enthusiasts (the “bike snobs” that many bike shops rely on to buy their higher end products) who are buying their bike parts & accessories online. In a concerted effort to gain their share of the online sales pie, a co-op of bike stores known as The Bike Cooperative got together and created BikeStoreGuys.com, a website where customers can buy over 4,000 bikes and accessory products online, with all profits going back to participating local bike stores.
Customers can order a bike online and pick it up in store, or have their parts and accessories shipped directly to their home. In either scenario, customers’ dollars are going back to local independent bike shops in their communities.
“The growth of national eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay has put significant pressure on local retailers who usually do not have the resources to compete online against large chain stores or corporations.” said Greg Brodsky, president of The Bike Cooperative. “We still think most customers want the expertise that only a local bike store can provide. And with bikes, people still want to go on a test ride to make sure it is the right fit for them. But many customers just don’t make the connection that buying online is going to hurt their local bike shop. As more people buy online, more bike stores will go out of business- as there are two thousand fewer bike stores than there were just ten years ago. The BikeStoreGuys.com model embraces the needs of today’s consumer by offering the online convenience they’ve come to expect, while still supporting the local bike shop.”
Derek Stepanek, owner of Northtowne Cycling and Fitness in Cedar Rapids IA, a participating dealer in the Bike Store Guys network, added, “We know that if all things were equal, the vast majority of people would prefer to buy locally to support their community. When too many people buy online it hurts local retailers, and it pulls money out of the local economy. But in today’s world we have to be realistic. Time-challenged consumers need point-and-click convenience. While we each have our own local store websites, Bike Store Guys gives us the ability to combine our resources with other shops to compete online on a national level and still support the ‘buy local’ movement. Whether the customer buys their bikes or bike gear from me directly or from BikeStoreGuys.com, either way the customer is contributing to local economies. At the end of the day, I think that’s what’s most important.”
BikeStoreGuys.com is the newest online player in the bike industry, supported by a network of independent bike stores with one common goal- to make the cycling experience extraordinary. For expert advice from bike shop owners, special offers and more, follow the Bike Store Guys on Facebook and Twitter.