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Update on Commuter Station

by Bike Shop Girl

My new shop has been open about 2 months now and we are slowly working out the commuter station and various areas of the shop to promote using your bicycle for transportation, utility or recreation.

The first thing we did when laying out the shops floor plan was make half of the shop for recreation.  This means hybrids, commuters, comfort bikes and all the accessories to go with it.


We have a display with racks and fenders (this rack is now 50/50 of racks from Trek and 3 different width full coverage fenders from SKS.)


On the other side of this rack display is our bags.  We are stocking the basic essentials now until folks really catch on to the riding bug.  First are basic grocery panniers which now I even have a display of one in use using empty cereal and food boxes. Then we have trunk bags and mesh wire baskets for front handlebars or rear rack mounting.  I think those two things are the most sold so far in the store.  Most of our bags will be Trek specific that work with the “Interchange” system that Trek has out.  It’s a pretty cool system that we will have on review next week.  Essentially you have on and off with the bags via one push button.  Easy to manage many of their bags, baskets, and panniers.


Locks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with durablity being the key question.  Having experience with major cities and then also suburbia I did my best to mix in a couple good higher end Kryptonite locks with recreational locks to keep the honest person honest.


With daylight being at its yearly low we are stocking a good selection of lights. Since the photo above we have received in more CateEye lights and a couple Light & Motion Vega rechargeable commuter lights.  We do our best to explain the difference of being seen verse seeing the road.

Riding clothing is something we are continuosly trying to approve.  I have not taken any photos but right now we stock jackets from Bontrager and Pearl Izumi.  Into the spring months I hope to carry more urban wear for the recreational cyclist or something that really isn’t comfortable wearing spandex or tight fitting jerseys.

The month of January I am working on a focus wall to tie all this together.  It will include a large map of Charlotte with 10-15 places that are good biking destinations.  They include greenways, bike lanes, mountain bike trails, parks and even coffee shops..  Once this part of the project is complete I will add more photos!

 
The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

10 Responses to “Update on Commuter Station”

  1. Shiny Flu says:

    Looking good.

    I like the idea of having some basic commuter-friendly parts in one spot. I know that as an LBS you try to sell service, but try a simple/basic printed out checklist that you can either handout or display near the product.

    I’ve made one and kept it pretty simple. We’ve got a bunch of them on the counter (with shop logo of course) and have been putting them in with the bike manual-books for each commuter-friendly bike (hybrids, flatbars etc.) and it’s worked out pretty well with a lot of return business as many don’t want to spend $500 on a bike plus $500 on accessories in the one day.

  2. Peter says:

    i would love to walk into a bike store and see a huge, beautiful overhead sign with a big picture of a bike commuter, no helmet, dressed normally, full commuter bike with full chainguard, just chillin on his or her way to work.

  3. Juan says:

    I don’t think Peter would like to see me on my commute ;-)

    Cool looking shop!…..and I’m looking forward to the review of the Trek rack/bag system. I have an intergrated system from Topeak that also works with a button push, and I love it.

  4. siouxgeonz says:

    One of my co-workers has noted that the first several times she drove by the bike shop, she thought it was me, riding in the window, instead of the mannequin…we deque out much the same.

  5. siouxgeonz says:

    … so fast bikes aren’t for recreation? :D
    I like the insert to go with the bike idea.

    The map thing is a big one – our shop has an “escape map” that’s very popular, and last year we had a bicycle commuting map made working with the League of Illinois Bicyclists. It’s a good thing to have online so people can print their own, too, but unfortunately Indiana doesn’t make that easy as Illinois does. Illinois has digital maps online that are easy to pull off and Do Things With (which I suppose I’d better do in case somebody decides that’s a problem).

  6. Ryan says:

    Great looking shop, I love the headers for each section. I work at a shop here in MA and it could sorely use some nice classification of sections for our customers to be able to find things on their own if they are the independent customer type. Are you by any chance a Trek Concept store?

    Great job, keep it up!

  7. Carl says:

    I’m not a professional merchandiser, but as a consumer, I really prefer to look at the merchandise out of its packaging. For a bike accessory, I’d like to see it mounted on a real bike, or something close enough that I could imagine it on mine. For example, mount one of each light on a piece of tubing the same diameter as a handlebar and bolt it to the top of the display table, then hang the packaged goods under their display. Keep the batteries fresh so people can get some idea of relative brightness. Or have on of each bell out so people can ding them and compare.

    The one LBS I frequent most (and there are dozens to choose from in Portland) doesn’t even bother putting a lot of stock on the floor. You just look at the examples mounted on real bikes and say “I want one of those”. If necessary, they ask the appropriate questions to get you the right size or shape, and go get you one out of the stockroom. As a consumer, I have a lot more confidence that I am getting what I want and that it will work on my bike.

  8. Andy says:

    You write “[...] recreation. This means hybrids, commuters, comfort bikes”. So, what kind of biking is non-recreational? Professional delivery services?

  9. Arleigh says:

    Andy,

    Most shops in our area specialize in high end mountain, road or triathlon. About 1/4 of our store is dedicated to those types of bikes and 1/2 is towards recreational.

  10. siouxgeonz says:

    So these are professionals purchasing the bicycles, then… it’s the category of person buying it, not the activity, I suppose. (I would have categorized mountain biking, road biking, and doing triathlons as “recreational activities.”)

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