Plymouth’s Rockets and Rascals has introduced scheme for its customers where they can roll their bikes in for repairs as part of a 12 month service contract.
Aimed at the enthusiast and commuter customer, the Pro Service Plan is just one of owner Steve Toze’s ideas to put a spin on how a traditional bike retailer operates and serves its customer.
He told CyclingIndustry.News: “Innovating the way we do business is crucial to our survival and this has been on the agenda since I acquired the whole of the business 12 months ago. It’s been a rocky uphill climb for Rockets and Rascals over the past four years, however our hearts have been set on not only building a great brand, but also creating the best bicycle based environment in a city that we love.”
The Pro Service Plan draws inspiration from Toze’s other line of work – design. He explains: “We’ll be intrigued to see if it works. On paper it’s a great idea, from the consumer side it makes total sense, the cost is the equivalent of one major service per year, plus a few tune ups, but they get all year round cover and a raft of special extras. From the business side it helps us work customer retention levels and eventually I hope will provide a solid foundation to grow the workshop business.”
Two plans are available at £15 and £20 per month, the latter of which includes a monthly degrease, wash and fresh lubrication. Additional bikes are charged at +50% per bike. Parts, tubes, tyres and cables are obviously not included.
Since opening, the modest business has made a large impact in the region, organising the inaugural Trans Kernow event this year and becoming one of a handful of Cinelli flagship stores. The Barbican District-based store also boasts a great retail mix of both cycling and non-cycling products, as well as an expanding range of own brand product.
“I had to come to terms with the fact that retail is and will always be a brutal game. Not just through increased competition from other stores and online retail – but also with the fact that sometimes you literally haven’t got the products, the skills, or the prices to sell your own mates something. There’s been a wave of asking people to ‘support’ their local independent store but the fact of the matter is we shouldn’t need well-mannered support, we need to work hard, get customer feedback, data, innovation and decent product – and hopefully somewhere in there is a reasonable margin so I can take my kids on holiday.”
To take a look around Toze’s store you can check out the interactive Google tour here.