With Christmas looming closer, for this month’s follow up question for How’s Business we asked how long each store planned to be closed over Christmas. Based upon our random selection of six stores across Australia, there are certainly not too many long, leisurely Christmas holidays on offer in the bike trade, but at least most stores seem to be busy at the moment.
This month, as well as asking about business in general, we asked about theft. Having heard many bike shop theft horror stories over the years, it was surprising how unconcerned the seven shops we called seemed to be, both about after hours break-ins and in store shop lifting.
But they were all well aware of the problem and had been proactive in minimising it.
Welcome to our monthly survey of six bike shops, selected at random from across Australia, with no more than one per state or territory. Being the first month of winter, we asked each shop owner or manager, ‘Do you do anything differently in winter to maintain sales momentum?’
Despite the large and increasing share of business that international mail order companies are taking, the bike shops around Australia that we phoned this month were all very upbeat. In fact it was the first month since we restarted Bicycling Trade last July that every shop we called was positive about business.
This month, our follow up question was about consumer finance for bicycle purchases. We asked every shop if they offered consumer finance at all, and what they thought about the schemes that are on the market.
Their responses covered the full spectrum, from shops that are offering it and loving it, to one describing finance companies as ‘pillaging’, which is certainly both an emotive description and one that had me reaching for my dictionary!
Welcome to our monthly informal survey of bike shops scattered across Australia where we start by simply asking, ‘How’s business?’
During this summer, many of the headlines were about heatwaves, bushfires and floods. So for How’s Business this month, some of the stores we phoned were within effected areas and we asked them what effect these events had upon their shops.
For the other shops we asked what effect that poor cycling weather in general, be it extreme heat or cold, has upon their day to day business.