Coming almost simultaneously, the pair took to their social channels to make the announcements, with Custom Riders reverting to an online only format.
As detailed by Seventies Distribution boss Stuart Dawkins this week on CI.N, the BMX market “has seen better times,” yet “I feel we’ll see continued growth over the next few years.”
That forecast comes too late for Alpha BMX, run by 20″ veteran Al Munger who posted today that due to “worsening trade and impending demolition I have decided to close down Alphabmx after Xmas.”
Munger blamed a significant period of no investment in the High Street on which his shop was located “for as long as I can remember.”
It is his retail location pictured in a recent Independent article on the subject of Government funding being diverted from ‘left behind’ towns to wealthier Tory held areas.
“I have worked on Hope Street for over 20 years, it is completely made up of independently owned small businesses. I do not recall any help whatsoever, aside from the rates being low, I cannot even afford the rent nowadays,” said Munger in a post to Facebook, adding “so go ahead, vote for the elite rich who will spend your taxes elsewhere… or siphon them off into their own pockets.”
Custom Riders, while not getting into the politics or reasoning behind the decision similarly posted:
“Sorry for the sudden announcement, but as of the 24th November our store in Letchworth Garden City will be closing its doors and from this point onwards we will be based online only. We will still be the same BMX rider run business we have been for the last 35 years, now continuing to focus on the Mail-order side of the business,” wrote Custom Riders, which is owned by BMX lifer Mason Smith.
The post continued: “All customers who have reserved bikes for Christmas, we will contact you to arrange pick up arrangements. Don’t forget we are still here but only online. We would like to give a massive thank you to all of our loyal customers who have stuck with us over the 20 years we’ve had in the area. Watch this space for more exciting developments in the future. Keep shredding!”