Here is another film I came across recently on vimeo. There is a growing trend of niche bike shops that are popping up, to be expected with the growth of cycling in the developed world. Sometimes these are actual bike shops like Tokyo Fixed or as in the example in the film. Sometimes they are cafés or clothes shops related to cycling, such as Look Mum No Hands in London, with bits added on.
What this bike shop offers is something that all local bike shops and mass retailers (you know that one that sells car parts too) really need to learn from. I don’t mean sit down with each person for an hour and carefully draw up the perfect bike, I mean listen to what the customer wants. Don’t try to sell them something they haven’t come to buy. If they don’t fully understand what they need, take them through a simple set of questions to find what would be best. Don’t try to get that old mountain bike out of the shop because it is 2 years old.
Or you could get together with a bike fitter and offer some sort of deal with each bike purchased. Make it easy for people while you have them.
When I got back in to cycling a few years ago I went to 5 local bike shops. Only one listened. I’ve never been back to the others unless the 5th bike shop I bought that bike and all other bikes from is closed or doesn’t stock what I need.
All bike shops can find a niche, a specialty. The internet is everywhere so it’s not good enough for you to be local.