I have to confess that although I support the idea of keeping the local bike shops alive I’m more inclined to make my purchases online. I don’t want to gloat, but in all honesty I was kind of glad when one of the local bike shops went belly up. There are several good reasons for their demise and I do think this kind of creative destruction can also be good for the local cycling community. Now at least my favorite bike shop may be on more solid ground.
I have tried to visit this particular bike shop several times, but they had already closed every time. In the end I didn’t even bother trying the door even if I was popping into the shop next door. Sure, evening and weekend pay is expensive, but I don’t understand the logic behind 11-18, 10-14 opening hours. I would assume that you would need to be open at least to 7pm on weekdays so that people have time to go home and grab something to eat. Dashing straight from work is quite unrealistic for most.
So the shop had to close and today they had a clearance sale during the lunch hour. I bought some tools and bibs on the cheap on my first and last visit. Service was friendly and there were loads of people at the shop. The one thing that made me wonder was the number of ugly as heck Trek single-speeds on the wall. It seemed like nobody wanted to even get near them. It is obvious bicycle trade is a fickle business. In the age of the internet you need to have good sense of what will sell as trends change really fast.
In this case the writing was on the wall. I think it was kind of obvious nobody would buy clunky bikes like that even if it had a respected brand name. The store had it coming and justice was served. We will see if they can resurrect themselves or if this was another casualty in the seismic drift of consumer behaviour as a tide of online shops takes over.