I have been thinking about adding a bike shop to my business. We are registered as a Community Interest Company. I have done my financials, reviewed stock and done our market research on many shops, found a premises.
However all this is great but one question keeps popping up in my head.
WHAT WOULD MAKE A GREAT BIKE SHOP I MEAN A REALLY REALLY GREAT PLACE RELATED TO BIKES.
I don't mean how can we improve existing shops but what would you do, or create, or add on or, include to make a bike shop something special and unique. You must admit that all bike shops are somewhat generic. There are a few, very few that break the mould of just selling you bikes. I can see thoughts welling in the direction 'well that is what a shop is for - selling bike related stuff'.
True but the bike is so different from other retail products that are sold. It is a mature business and has a number of cultural and sub cultural attachments to it that make it much more that just a product to be sold. It is probabaly one of the most fit purpose designs that we have in our world.
The bike can me seen on many levels as primarily as a mode of transport but also as form of art, recreation, the centre various social entities.
What I am looking for is how would you make the bike shop somewhere that can encourage greater use of the bike, tap into a range of bike based cultures. maybe the shop is part of something else and it shouldn't be called a shop at all.
I have the idea of a bike related sort of version of the Irish Pub where instead of coming in for pint, a lb of spuds and packet of nylons, you come in for a cup of tea, a spiced sausage sandwich, have you bike repaired or attend other functions and in an amiable friendly atmosphere.
Any ideas on what would your perfect bike shop. Please keep it semi decent. Go way way off on a tangent please nothing too mundane or boring. Lets stretch the boundaries of what may be possible.