A regular customer challenged me on my blog post in the Summer on the changes I had made with Hoops after incorporating East St cycles into our location. In hindsight maybe it was a little negative as I saw Hoops as somehow losing something rather than the opposite, and I have to say I think I was wrong. Our customer was pretty well informed to be fair as he’d read a trade article in the US about a decline in road bike sales and asked if I thought the same was happening in the UK. The honest answer is yes but that’s not the whole story, the fact is that if you bought a really good road bike three or four years ago the chances are it’s still a really good road bike. Just before the merger (I see it a bit like a flat share) we had our highest grossing month at Hoops and almost every bike was a customers’ 2nd, 3rd, 4th bike N+1 right? This was the interesting thing I realised after the East St guys came across and, something that occurred immediately was that there were quite a few people who’d bought road bikes at Hoops who had then switched back to MTB after finding other road users hostile. Chris Boardman recently wrote that statistically you are unlikely to be hit by a motor vehicle but when you ride on the road it doesn’t feel like that. I’ll admit I find him as a pundit a bit dull but as a campaigner the best we’ve got in the UK and this bit of wisdom stuck in my head. I personally mitigate my chances of a ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you scenario’ by riding with ‘day-time’ LED flashing lights and if I’m wearing black I supplement one bit of my kit with something high vis for contrast. I also, after riding with an ex- elite rider, adopted a wave at good passes philosophy and he or she must be having a bad day attitude for close pass vehicles (I’ll admit this one requires more work or perhaps cognitive therapy).
Anyway back to the shop, more customers in the door more of a buzz. We never quite cracked the Cyclo Cross thing at Hoops and that’s now changed, plus we landed a great clothing brand that really complimented Assos and Mavic and that was Endura.
For the time being it’s all good, we’ve been busy getting product on both the East St and Hoops Velo websites a time consuming process to say the least and we started using a platform called Bike Exchange, this is great for us as we do not have the reach (or the budget) for enhanced search engine listings. Yep I didn’t land that City money in the end 🙂 The other thing is we’ve started selling clearance product via Ebay.
A London colloquialism ‘don’t be a stranger’…