10 Bike Shop Fails We Accept, That We Shouldn’t


It can be hard as a bicycle retailer to stay on top of everything. You need to at once be; salesperson, mechanic, accountant, storeman, marketer, social media manager, sponsor, IT department…and so on. It means there are always aspects of our business that don’t get the level of attention or effort we’d like.

That said; take your bicycle retailer hat off for a minute and think of yourself as retail customer. Then think of a store you go into regularly or like to visit. I guarantee you won’t find any of the following things;

  1. Dirt and general mess
  2. Untidy shop floor and/or workshop
  3. Crap all over the counter
  4. Anti-social service
  5. Anti-social music (or none at all)
  6. Nonsensical layout and unattractive displays
  7. Empty hooks, shelves and walls
  8. Poorly lit (those banks of flickering fluoros just won’t cut it anymore)
  9. Damaged packaging or no packaging at all
  10. Inward goods on the shop floor or counter

But all of these issues are commonplace in the majority of bike shops around the world. Why do we as an industry think this is OK? Why do we fail to offer a retail experience to cycling consumers that as customers ourselves, we take for granted in any other retail environment?

The bike industry has matured and modernised an awful lot over the past 5-10 years. Our leading bike shops are now as attractive, engaging and customer experience oriented as any high street, big box or boutique retailer. These stores may not necessarily have more money, resources or know-how than other bike shops. It’s just that none of these businesses will accept any of those 10 common bike shop fails in their stores. They won’t settle for “I’m a bike shop, so that’s OK”.

And neither should you. Ask yourself if any of those fails are realities in your store and do something about them.

Time to run a bike shop you’d want to shop in yourself.

What are you pet hate Bike Shop Fails?

Jonathon Nunan



2 Comments Add yours

  1. cyclewirks says:

    It’s not just bike shops either!


    1. Yes, that’s a very fair comment. No doubt there’s also plenty of grungy fishing stores, lawn mower shops and hobby retailers.

      But for some reason, too many bike shops appear to fall well short of what we would expect or accept in most other retail settings. As an industry we have to raise the level of expectation in terms of retail and consumer experience. If bricks and mortar IBDs want to raise revenues through higher average sale values, improve profits, traffic, customer retention and maintain some market advantage over online retailers; they need to raise the bar somewhat and not accept mediocrity or amateur excuses.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s