Selfridges launches ‘first of its kind’ e-Vehicle destination bike shop

Selfridges has launched a ‘first of its kind’ bike shop in The Corner Shop of its Oxford Street store.

The concept, curated by Smartech, will see the space transformed into an electric vehicle destination complete with e-Bikes, apparel and exclusive gear to demonstrate a new era of urban travel.

While the shop may be the first of its kind for Selfridges, the iconic London superstore isn’t a stranger to bike shops, with urban cycling lifestyle business Velorution opening a store-in-store within Selfridges in 2018, having once before operated within the superstore with a focus on electric bikes.

In the new shop, customers will be able to discover and try bikes and accessories from the likes of Mate X, Angell and Superstrata. The Selfridges and Smartech partnership has sought to bring together the latest and greatest e-Vehicle innovations from up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to ‘reinvent’ the cycling industry. The shop will also display a selection of push bikes from Veloretti and Cheetah.

The products available will rotate weekly, with customers able to test ride them in a dedicated zone in the Selfridge’s car park. The range will also be available online.

In addition to its e-Bike offering, the Bike Shop has launched with a display of original penny farthings to showcase the evolution of the bicycle from the 1800s to today.

“Our team has scoured the world to bring the latest and greatest in e-Bike technology to the discerning Selfridges customer and there couldn’t be a better time to launch this unique Corner Shop concept,” said Rob Smith, Head of Partnerships at Smartech. “As we emerge from lockdown into the ‘new normal’, we’ve seen an increased focus on health and wellness, looking after the environment and most importantly safety, with people avoiding public transport where possible.

“E-Bikes speak to all of these trends and customers can expect to see the ultimate edit of the most innovative brands of tomorrow, today.”

Prior to the global pandemic, Deloitte foresaw a rise in the popularity of e-Bikes in its technology predictions for 2020, projecting the total number of e-Bikes in circulation around the world should reach in the region of 300 million, a 50% increase on 2019 figures.

Since the pandemic struck, further research has been conducted into the e-Bike boom. Verified Market Research (VMR) tips the e-Bike market to reach US$ 32.83 billion by 2026, up from US$ 16.88 in 2018, while new data collected by LEVA-EU covering European territories suggests that in 2019 around 3 million e-bikes were sold in Europe. Add to this the indication that a quarter of Europeans will use an e-Bike in 2020, according to a study by YouGov and Shimano, it’s obvious this is a sector with increasingly heightened interest and potential, especially as the world recovers from the impacts of Covid-19.

Selfridges Technology Buying Director, Martyn Stroud, added: “With the nation’s renewed interest in cycling, now if the perfect time for us to launch The Bike Shop, offering a selection of the very best e-Bikes and innovations on the market. As well as being ideal for commuting, energy-efficient and emissions-free, e-Bikes are a really fun way to get around town. We’re excited to welcome customers in-store to discover and try the bikes for themselves.”

Alongside conventional bicycles and e-Bikes, The Bike Shop will feature cycle accessories from the likes of Litelok, Closca and Ausair. There will be a collection of more than 40 new brand partners, 30% of which are worldwide exclusive to Smartech and will only be available at Selfridges.

Additionally, The Bike Shop will host what it deems the ‘world’s first’ bamboo workshop for making personalised 100% sustainable bamboo bikes, open every day during the Corner Shop Takeover.

The Bike Shop will run in The Corner Shop until 16 August, after which it will move to a permanent location within Selfridges Oxford Street.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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