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wow 245 LBS close in first 6 months of 2003.......(34 posts)

wow 245 LBS close in first 6 months of 2003.......abicirider
Sep 17, 2003 2:42 PM
Just got the latest Bicycle Retailer and industry news paper. not good news article about how supplier sales have plummet and about 245 LBS have closed there doors in the first 6 months of 2003 thru out the USA. Suppliers shipped 28% fewer bikes to retailers than in the same period as last year (jan-June) also the dollar value of those bikes droped 18%
hope it turns around second half of this year and next year.

Be safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!
Ray Still
I thought you were saying 245 pounds! (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2003 3:05 PM
Ebay and retail online shopping...Asphalt Addict
Sep 17, 2003 5:03 PM
will finish off the weak who refuse to understand that the market place has changed in favor of the consumer. I hardly ever buy in LBS's anymore because they charge way too much compared to the internet. Example: Silka pump at LBS=$69 / Silka pump online=$39
very short sighted...hackmechanic
Sep 17, 2003 8:05 PM
LBS is the lifeblood of the industry. Enjoy your short term "savings" at the long term well-being of cycling. The death of the LBS will be the demise of all things cool and cycling.
already happened to the BMX sceneEric F
Sep 17, 2003 8:39 PM
Bike stores don't even bother with BMX stuff anymore. The only place in town I can get pegs is Wal Mart. the only BMX thing either local bike shop carries is tubes
RE: very short sighted...clintb
Sep 17, 2003 10:10 PM
B.S.! The LBS is not the lifeblood of the industry. The customer is. When are people going to get it through their thick skulls? Stores exist solely for consumers!! Close store "A" and Mr. or Mrs. Consumer will find store "B". That's the same kind of crap the RIAA is trying to jam down everyone's throat. "Can't do without me!" Oh yeah, just watch me!

The traditional LBS needs to change, plain and simple. The ones that don't have a good online presence will die unless they just don't have any local competition. Exceptions are shops with good prices, good service and good selection. I have some great shops in the Dallas area and frequent them on occasion, but am not loyal to either.

I'm sorry, but if I can save some money by purchasing online, then so be it. That money will be well spent by being able to put it towards a bill or take my wife out for a nice dinner. Either way, it benefits ME and keeps the money in MY pocket. The LBS doesn't pay my bills, do they? Do they sponsor me? Nope. Can't throw the LBS service thing at me either as I do ALL maintenance on my bikes. Even have my own Park bottom bracket facing tool.
RE: very short sighted...hackmechanic
Sep 17, 2003 10:29 PM
Only after the last tree has been cut,

Only after the last river has been poisoned,

Only after the last fish has been caught,

Only then will you find that money can not be eaten.

Go ahead, buy online. Save a buck. Never shop locally. Undermine community. Me me me. Drive your SUV and consume maximally without longterm consideration. Screw quality of life and civilized culturally rich enlightened society for the sake of saving $3 today.

I concede that buying from the LBS is not the single move that will save the world. It's a small step though. Shopping locally, encouraging community, reducing automobile dependence, responsible local economy and investment in our future will make for better, bicycle friendly, non-foreign oil dependent societies with cleaner air, less crime, more places to ride your bike, a better world with a higher quality of living that isn't guaged upon how old/new your car is but by how vibrant your community is.

Yeah, you don't need them. You do your own work. You face your own BB's. But what about buddy down the street who's never owned a bike before and no longer has an LBS to go to to buy a bike, get fitted properly, have a real person show them the differences between a sh*te bike and something of substance with reasonable components. How about when they buy a half built bike online and it shows up and they don't know how to put it together because they don't have half the tools and then they don't develop reasonable riding skills because the guy working the desk at Wrench Science doesn't know where any of the local rides meet. And his bike fits him like crap and it hurts his back because the stem is too long and the bars too wide so he stops riding, never enjoys it enough to get his spouse riding, never rides to work making the fat guy in cubicle next to him consider riding to work as well because it's a healthy choice and maybe even a little fun at the same time.

Save your buck today but it's shortsighted and bad for cycling as a whole to have the LBS dissappear in favour of online retailing.
RE: very short sighted...clintb
Sep 17, 2003 11:20 PM
Nice run-on sentences.

You must be a Linux fan, correct? Turn everything into a "Save the World" argument. Does the word "Commune" ring any bells? Perhaps, "Hippie"?

Have any statistics to backup your bantering or is that just your Utopian view? Please. Buying from your LBS is a "small step"?! How about the gas I had to burn to get to the LBS, when I could have just had UPS deliver it to my door much more economically? And where'd $3 come from?! You may be retarded enough to order something online when it's only $3 or so more in town, but not me. The savings I'm talking about are what Asphalt Addict posted. That kind of markup is just silly.

I do a fair number of transactions online as well as locally. I do what makes sense for MY pocketbook. Yes, it is about ME and MY FAMILY. First and foremost, if I can't take care of ME and MY FAMILY, then I shouldn't be worrying about everyone else. And since you've let it out that you're into assumptions. I don't drive an SUV, thank you very much. I live 4 miles from my work and commute by bike when possible. How about you, Mr. Environmentally Friendly?

Gee, I truly feel sorry for "buddy" down the street. Most bike shops, save two of my local ones, don't know jack about wrenching and/or proper fitting. "Buddy" would be better served by reading and frequenting forums like this one to get honest opinions from a much broader knowledge base. In your Utopian world, every bike shop has fair/competitive prices, good mechanics, good selection, fitting service and knowledgeable sales staff. In the real world, that just isn't the case. Sorry bud, I've been in the bike industry. I've seen it from the inside. Where's your POV coming from?

From your tone and story about "Buddy", it sounds as if your online transactions have went sour. You sound as if you're the perfect candidate for the attention of a LBS.

It may also help if you learn to read and process sentences correctly. I never said that all LBSs should disappear. I said, "The traditional LBS needs to change, plain and simple". I would never wish for any small business to fail, but I do recognize the need for change. If you can't adapt, then you will ultimately fail. The strong survive.

Quote: "Save your buck today but it's shortsighted and bad for cycling as a whole to have the LBS disappear in favor of online retailing" Prove it! Let's hear the facts. Again, I don't want any LBS to fail, but if you're going to spout off, then bring on the facts!

It's the future, hop on or get run over.
Testy, aren't we? Relax, your neo-Darwinism isOldEdScott
Sep 18, 2003 5:52 AM
carrying the day. You have no need to fear the Hippies.
Man, I just sat down to read this with---ZenJones
Sep 18, 2003 5:57 AM
a bowl of brown rice, miso soup and my new Birkies.

Cold, cold cold.
I have taken to weaving my own toilet paper,djg
Sep 18, 2003 6:38 AM
using bark that falls naturally from the birch trees in my back yard as a source of fiber (for the paper, that is).

Does anybody have any good tips on how to make it ... um, softer?
I have taken to weaving my own toilet paper,ZenJones
Sep 18, 2003 7:02 AM
Yes, the oil from the skin of endangered ticks.
Buy at LBS...Grow our own food, compost, and free love too? nmMg1
Sep 18, 2003 4:51 AM
All sound ideas. I agree with you. nmOldEdScott
Sep 18, 2003 5:53 AM
Me, too....nmbicyclerepairman
Sep 19, 2003 3:44 PM
Maybe if my LBS would haveSpecialTater
Sep 18, 2003 5:50 AM
treated me with a little respect, I would return. Instead, I spent significant (for me) $$$ on a full retail on a road bike with 105 components and will not return because they treated me like an idiot. I'm trying to turn an old cro-mo mtb into a ss beater/commuter and need a couple of tools that i MAY use once in 6 months. I ask about cheap/used tools and they reply "You don't want a $10 chain whip...". Right...I want a $25 Park whip that the wrench uses everyday to take a freaking cog set off.... I ask about spacers for the rear axle and they reply "You need to re-dish the wheel for the brakes to work..." Bull$#*@. I need $2 worth of pvc or other spacers.

I wanted to use them because they are 2 miles away. I wanted to use them because the owner is a good guy. His wrench and sales guy treated me like crap and not one more $ will be spent there (unless he can beat an internet's all about ME). They were handy when I lacked knowledge, but now that I have a little, they can no longer take advantage of me. And that new FS mtb that I'm considering for Xmas 2004 will be purchased elsewhere...
Maybe if my LBS would haveEric F
Sep 18, 2003 7:31 AM
Yes I totally agree! I got treated with no respect at mine. I will admit I don't own a road bike yet ( I read here to help me decide, and now am buying one from the classifieds). At one point I wanted a steel bike so I looked up steel bikes and found Bianchi. The LBS in town I have never been to (I moved here recently) was a dealer so I went there. I go in and see Specialized and Trek and Cannondale but no bianchis. So I ask the guy about it and he is like "Oh you don't want that here you want this specialed allez elite. Check it out blablablaaba" Everytime I mentioned steel or the fact several people have recommended Bianchi to me heavily the guy is all like OH no look at this Trek.

He basically called me retarded everytime I tried to ask him about Bianchis or steel bikes in general. I got treated with ten times that amount of respect when I went to the local bike shop in my old town with 200 dollars to buy a crappy BMX bike when I was 12. I went in there while my mom was in the grocery store and the salesman explained to me all the differences of the bikes, what an extra hundred dollars could get, everything. He was really polite. Now I go in the shop with almost 1000 dollars and get treated like an idiot with no respect.

so I went and am about to buy a really cheap bike from the classifieds instead of going to my local bike shop and getting treated like a retard
You know what you guys all need?Kristin
Sep 18, 2003 10:24 AM
Kazanga's!! (How do you spell kazanga's?) Anyway. I never seem to have a problem at the LBS. I'm told I have the whole damsel in distress thing going for me. Hey it works. I had a shifter mount and a break mount rethreaded for $
amen (nm)ChazWicked
Sep 18, 2003 11:32 AM
RE: very short sighted...MShaw
Sep 18, 2003 9:48 AM
Go look up Nytro on the web. Nice site, cool stuff, etc. Walk in, and its a fairly small LBS.

A friend of mine was working shipping for them. He said they were shipping $10k of stuff out of there almost every day!

So, the LBS needs to morph into a combination of things: catalog store AND LBS with the service. Just don't do it the way Performance is doing it... Supergo had a good idea, built up a sizeable chain, then f#cked it all up by selling to Performance. $$ talks...

Here's a business idea for someone: provide the LBS with a back channel. Have the LBS link up with your company, provide a website, etc. and let the customers order straight from the web for things that the LBS can't/won't stock. Think Quixtar without the MLM: every time a customer of yours buys something from a participating site, the LBS gets a percentage.

Let me know if someone runs with this one...

Doesn't Specialized do this with their site?innergel
Sep 18, 2003 11:24 AM
I have a vague recollection of reading that to avoid being in direct competition with their dealers, Specialized sells all the various merch via and then splits the profit between Corp. and the dealer network. That way dealers aren't stuck with old inventory and Specialized can just clear out everyone's old stuff from one place.

This sounds like a sound business model. I also like the idea of being able to credit sales on a website to a specific LBS. That's a good twist.
Sort of,TJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 12:34 PM
Specialized's website is actually an independent business of its own, which is owned partly by Specialized, but mostly by participating dealers. Dealers were granted shares in the website company, based on their sales volume, when it was launched. The profits (should there be any) are distributed to the dealers.

It's an o.k. compromise.
that's absurdmohair_chair
Sep 18, 2003 6:16 AM
Back when there were much fewer LBS than there are today, cycling was doing fine. How could that be possible in your world?

Cycling doesn't exist to put food on anyone's table. If you want to subsidize the local shop, great, but I work for a living. I earn my money the hard way, and I'll choose where, when, and how to spend it.
I think you're rightKristin
Sep 18, 2003 9:47 AM
Fit being all important in cycling. How will anyone new break into the sport if there is no where to go to test ride bikes and get fit?
around here lbs's pricing ......marcoxxx
Sep 18, 2003 7:33 AM
is about same as online stores or lower with local shops giving regular customers 10-20% discounts and that includes any installation for free...i hope they don't close their doors!! it's a better all round deal imo.

re: wow 245 LBS close in first 6 months of 2003.......Ironbutt
Sep 18, 2003 1:49 AM
The average local bike shop needs to learn to change with the times. Ten or fifteen years ago, the LBS was the only game in town. Now there are any number of Internet sources for what once was their exclusive territory. The LBS that has a good selection of products, competetive (but not necessarily the lowest) prices, knowledgable, concerned sales staff and skilled mechanics will survive, flourish. The rest won't. My favorite LBS changed ownership this year, and went from the above description to a business wiht no passion for cycling, no concern for the cyclist, and no involvement in the local cycling community. They'll probably survive thruogh the coming holiday season, but after that, with no changes, they'll be gone.
Case In Point---->>>ZenJones
Sep 18, 2003 5:55 AM
Went into my LBS yesterday for training wheels for my daughters new birthday gift(a TREK bike I bought off Ebay for 40% less than I could find it around the city-ironic huh?).

They sold me the wrong size wheels even though I insisted that they 'looked' too small(the packaging had no specs so I could only gauge things visually). Got them home, wrong size indeed... I could basically tip her bike nearly over before the training wheels actually touched the ground.

Best part... they won't take a return or exchange because they say they don't like how I opened the packaging(I poked my thumb through the plastic bag-why would I have used scissors for a nice clean cut when I was told I was wrong and that the wheels were the correct size?).

Also, when I was there they had a Saris Bones 3 car rack... they were asking $161.00 for it!!! Good Lord, I can buy one new for $99.95 w/5 dollar shipping over Ebay.

LBS's are great in my opinion but they need to know that they are headed the route of dinosaurs unless they stop with the greed.
how many of those were involuntary?mohair_chair
Sep 18, 2003 6:22 AM
Raw statistics like this are almost always misrepresented. For instance, not everyone who doesn't have a job is unemployed. Some are retired, some have chosen not to work, some are disabled, etc.

Saying an LBS "closed it's door" doesn't tell me much. A more useful number is how many LBS went out of business involuntarily vs. how many were just closed because the owner wanted to retire. How many "closed their door" in one location and reopened somewhere else?
how many of those were involuntary?djg
Sep 18, 2003 6:49 AM
It's a perfectly good question and just one among many that could be asked. Of course, even involuntary closings could be attributed to many things besides the dreaded internet. Were more or fewer bikes sold overall in the US each of the last several years? How about in mid-to-high price ranges? The volume of bike sales seems to have been pretty cyclical in my life time and we may simply be in a downturn, either overall or in certain market segments. What many enthusiasts see as a lifetime necessity is perceived by others as an entirely discretionary recreational purchase, subject to fad, as well as cash flow. Overall economic trends?

And, of course, not all LBSs are created equal, either in terms of cycling expertise and service or in terms of business acumen.
Most LBS's SHOULD dieDropped
Sep 18, 2003 7:33 AM
If my local LBS's provided good service and competitive prices, I would be down there all the time.

Problem is, the gulf between LBS and online prices is enourmous. It's not just a few bucks. For instance, I saved $250 by buying my new frame online vs. at my LBS. I saved another $200 by buying the miscellaneous new parts I needed online. I saved $700 by buying my last mountain bike online vs. LBS.

If I spent that extra $1150 at my LBS just because I need to support them for some undefined reason, what would I get in return? Poor service with an attitude.

It's economics, not charity.
245 LBS's closed-how many opened?Straightblock
Sep 18, 2003 7:35 AM
I always heard the best way to make a small fortune was to start with a large fortune, then open a bike shop.

Here in Fresno, anyway, things seem fairly stable. One large LBS apparently has changed owners. Another one was sold by its long-time owner a few years back, and the new ownership ran it into the ground in a short time. The original owner re-opened it about a year ago and seems to be holding his own.

I pick an occasional bargain off the web, but I get fair prices on most things at the LBS, plus I can use a spare work stand and the shop tools at the LBS when I need. Thanks, Rich.
Sep 18, 2003 8:11 AM
It's a rough business. Probably not as bad as the restaurant biz but rough. Of the six shops I worked for in the 80s and 90s only one is still in business--and it probably helps that they own the building. Shops close, others open, that's life. And I'm sure retail as a whole was hard hit this year.
Look at KmartStraightblock
Sep 18, 2003 8:43 AM
As part of a nationwide cutback, they closed all but one of their stores in our area last year, leaving only the one the NIMBYs tried to keep out years ago (ha!). Zainy Brainy Toys is gone. Bennigan's and On the Border, two chain restaurants, closed their locations here. I'm not sure if the chains are completely gone. On the upside, Hooters supposed to open next year near where one of the Bennigan's closed.

There are a couple of small, Mom-and-Pop type LBSs here that seem to keep plugging along year after year. I can buy cheap tubes for the kids' bikes at Target, but I really don't mind paying an extra buck at a small LBS.
My LBS......dirthead
Sep 18, 2003 9:49 AM
has prices equal to online ordering on SOME items. Camelbaks, HammerGel, and some other accessories can be had there for an equal to online price. But bike parts aren't even close. I went in looking for an Ultegra cassette. The didn't have one, but could order me one for $69.99. I can get a dura-ace cassette for less than that online. Problem is, I can order stuff from JensonUSA, or Performance, or ExcelSports, or Ebay, just to name a few, for LESS than my LBS has to pay for the same part from their supplier!!!! Once they add some percentage markup so they can make a buck, the final price is WAY HIGHER than online.

I think the bicycle industry is similar to the firearms industry. I am a small licensed firearms dealer, and large volume retailers sell firearms at prices at or below my wholesale cost.

When the huge online dealers order parts, do they get them from QBP or one of the other bicycle part distributors, or do they go straight to the manufacturer? Do they pay the same price when they are spending $500,000+ a month on bike parts as my LBS who orders $500 a month? I doubt it. They are getting huge discounts on their order volumes, so they can sell for less and still make money.

It's not the end user who decides to buy online and save money that is ruining the bicycle industry, it's the distributor or manufacturer who is giving the large volume online dealers the discounts so they can sell at prices lower then your LBS can buy the parts that is destroying the industry. Kind of like how Wal-Mart has put all the mom and pop stores across the country out of business....LARGE VOLUME DISCOUNTS FROM THE MANUFACTURER.