The latest episode of Alex Palmer’s Cycling Business Podcast has gone live, exploring the topics of mobile mechanics and the impact of coffee on bike retail.
Episode five’s two guests are Velofix founder Chris Guillemet and Sam Humpherson of Old Street’s cycle cafe Look Mum No Hands!
The theme tying the two is the shift away from traditional bike retail toward more diverse and often innovative practices to drive footfall.
Guillemet’s model was discussed at length in an interview on CyclingIndustry.News back in March in which the firm suggested that the move by manufacturers to sell direct was causing a record number of mobile franchisee applicants to come forward.
Founded in 2013 in Vancouver, Velofix is now on the verge of international expansion with 60 vans set to be on the road by the end of the year.
“The challenges in the UK are probably the same as those faced in the US. The direct to consumer model is having a major impact in the bike industry,” said Guillemet on the Podcast. “I think there’s no question, if you’re a traditional bike shop and you’re not doing anything different then it’s a difficult time, for sure.”
With Canyon’s expansion into America due early in 2017, Guillemet admits that things have moved faster than he anticipated when he begun to develop his franchise and that he sees no sign of the direct model slowing.
“In three years we’ve gone from nobody wanting to sell to us, due to lack of bricks and mortar, to a case where everybody wants to sell to us,” jokes Guillemet at the speed of attitude change to mobile mechanics.
Meanwhile, Humpherson speaks on the ongoing problem of fitting parts bought online at cheaper than trade cost.
“I’ll do it with a smile, if I can muster one,” he jokes, stating that it’s an unavoidable reality of modern bike retail.
Have a listen to the latest episode, which runs 53 minutes long, below:
You can tune into prior episodes here: