Independent cycle retailer “Volume of bike shops is ruining the industry”

The owner of Cheltenham Cycles has taken to the local press to air his opinion that the volume of cycle shops opening across the UK is ruining the business for long-standing stores.

Speaking to GloucestershireLive, John Rowland said there are “far too many brands and far too many outlets” in the UK and “very few people are making serious money”.

Having last week been faced with the opening of the latest Cycle Republic branch – the chain’s 16th – not far from his store, Rowland said that it’s not just Cheltenham faced with a glut of bike shop openings.

“It is medium-sized cycling shops that are going to be squeezed the most and struggle. We are a very small shop and some of our team members have been here for more than 15 years.

“There is nobody around with as much experience as working in a cycling shop.

“When I opened the shop in 1992 there were no other competitors.

“Due to the number of shops opening, investors are pulling out because it is getting harder and harder to make money from the industry.

“It’s sad but that is the way it is.”

Commenting on the opening, Cycle Republic Managing Director Peter Kimberley says: “We are extremely pleased to have found such a fantastic location in centre of Cheltenham, where we are perfectly placed to support the local cycling community and provide them with award winning bike brands, the latest in cycling tech and a first class workshop experience.”

While shops are still opening at a steady rate, closures are also coming thick and fast.