With more than 700 assembled bikes in stock and on the floor, Center Cycle in Renton, WA uses its inventory to broaden its reach and sales.
“Over the past five years I’ve reduced the number of manufacturers I deal with from four to two,” says General Manager, Dave Groom. “At the same time though, the types and styles of bikes from these manufacturers has more than doubled.”
Center Cycle has grown sales by 4x over the past five years and Groom attributes that growth to his availability of pre-assembled inventory.
“Lift and Store has enabled me to keep that inventory in the showroom, organized and ready for sale,” says Groom. With four bike lifts prominently in the front of his store, Groom has recently added a fifth to help manage his repair shop workload.
According to Jay Townley, partner at Gluskin Townley Group, a prominent bike industry consultancy, improving customer experience and intimacy are key for bike shops to differentiate themselves. “We are constantly working with owners and their architects to design stores that are inviting and encourage customers to linger,” Townley says.
Safety and Security are Also Key
The Lift and Store product offers other benefits to Center Cycle. Groom was paying more than $850 per month to rent three nearby storage spaces for pre-built bikes. Not only was this space expensive, but the insurance on each unit only covered $5,000 in loss or damage.
“Just two of my high end bikes cost that much,” Groom says. “And that inventory was off premise, not in my shop.”
Higher Sales, Better Profits
In the end, Groom credits Lift and Store with helping Center Cycle decrease operating costs and increase volume and profits. “The payback is there,” he says. “And the machines have been bullet proof since I installed the first one in 2005.”