Evans Cycles has announced the opening of a new store in Sutton, London. The Sutton store is the retailer’s fourth new opening in the last three months, and the sixth this year following a topsy turvy lockdown period for the retailer.
In the early days of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown, when the government allowed bike shops to remain open as essential retailers to support key workers and exercising during lockdown, Evans owner Mike Ashley stoked outrage by declaring all of his Sports Direct shops – which largely retail sports clothing – would remain open during the lockdown. Ashley soon apologised and shut all Sports Direct – at the same time that as Evans Cycles – stores. Evans then went on to open the doors to 11 stores at the end of March and in April opened a further 9 stores.
Evans Cycles stores offer several incentives to its customers such as 0% finance, price match, free click and collect and test rides and access to the retailers Ride to Work Scheme. Additionally, the company have provided free bike MOT’s to key workers throughout the pandemic.
However, despite these incentives, many customers have been left underwhelmed and annoyed by the retail chain due to lack of communication with customers and inability to meet delivery promises for a large part of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The industry at large has struggled with bike stock having imported historically low numbers into the UK on all but e-Bikes, something compounded by production lines shutting or running at lowered capacity during the worst of the outbreak so far. The firm did not respond to a CI.N request for comment on the back of a wave of criticism on social channels in recent months.