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  #1  
Old 04-22-2007, 02:39 PM
Chimponbike Chimponbike is offline
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Question What do you expect of a good bike shop

...and I mean that "you" as in woman!
My 3 partners and I are going to open a bike shop and we really(!) want to make if woman- and family-friendly... and, yes, I know, it is not the same!
So what are your ideas about what constitutes a woman-friendly bike shop?

Last edited by K'Tesh; 08-07-2008 at 12:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2007, 10:28 AM
mlemily mlemily is offline
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Surprised you haven't gotten any responses yet Todd....
Here's my 2 cents....

My biggest suggestion is one that is not so women-specific: friendly, knowlegable staff - hard to find, hard to keep but worth it. Nobody likes to feel intimidated, especially newbies who might be women. And if you *do* know what you're talking about its pretty irritating to be patted on the head and treated like an idiot.

I'm betting your shop will have plenty of products that are uber practical for everyday riding, but another suggestion is to have pretty, hip, gear.

As an example of what I'm talking about, I refer you to Basil:
http://www.basil.nl/home.asp?lang=3

Todd Boulanger donated a Mirte bag by Basil to the Alice Awards silent auction and I was smitten.

This product review says it all for me:
http://www.thelondoncyclist.com/zz04...28_LC_0405.pdf
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2007, 02:11 PM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Y'know what would be nice, and would make me go out of my way to visit your shop (and possibly shop there)? A good selection of women's cycling gear. 99% of the places you go to have rack after rack (and page after page in their catalogs) of gear for men, and only one measly rack (or one page, in their catalogs) of everything they carry for women, including gloves, shorts, jerseys, etc.

And I'm not talking about "shrink it and pink it" clothing, I'm talking about the cool jerseys (Primal Wear has lots of great stuff) and nice shorts. Enough of the pastels, we want the cool Led Zep jersey too!

GOOD customer service is also a big plus. Helpful staff willing to give some advice about all kinds of stuff. I understand that they gotta get paid somehow, and telling me how to do the maintenance is not in their best interest. I'd leave the big stuff to them, anyway, I'm capable of cleaning and lubing my chain.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:17 PM
Chimponbike Chimponbike is offline
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Wink Thanks for the feedback

...but Todd is not the only one in the family with a bike...although he has been the reason why I never needed to go to a bike shop...

So, ok...
No head patting -- I suspected that
Knowledgeable staff -- working on that!
Basil stuff -- yeah, we (ok, Todd!) it checked out and we will have some paniers and bags that are NOT black... there is also a great German firm we are looking into...
Cool Jerseys and shorts -- we are trying to focus more on plain-clothes riding, but we are definitely thinking along the lines of cool rain wear, pants that don't get caught in the chain and fun accessories... I am hoping that at one point we might be able to have a separate section dedicated to clothing...

Again, thanks for the feedback...
Mrs Chimp

Last edited by Chimponbike; 04-25-2007 at 04:20 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:30 PM
kiwimunki kiwimunki is offline
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Default two cents

Previous posters have pretty much covered it all, but I might want to add a few things:

- Organized rides, especially women-only rides. It's great because it promotes your business for you (more people on their bikes = more customers), but also because it keeps your shop involved in the neighborhood. I like a bike shop that feels like it's part of my community, not just a big vendor. REI has tons of bike gear, but I'll always spend my money at a shop where I've had a fun afternoon with the workers.

- Have a woman in your repair/maintenence department. Seeing another woman with bike grease under her fingernails inspires me to attempt bold new feats of bike mechanics on my own, and makes me love bikes even more. Who wants to go to a workshop full of guys that throw around jargon just to impress the lil' lady?

Thanks for asking!
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2007, 09:44 AM
nishiki nishiki is offline
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Default Dumb!

Are you trying to be in business or trying to make friends?

By excluding half of your potential customers base, you are missing the point of what it means to do business!
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2008, 10:09 PM
tinaaj tinaaj is offline
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Default Create a floorplan that lets unobtrusive shopping occur

My comments are not gender specific.
I don't know what your space contraints are, but a larger, more spacious shop with the ability to walk around and look at biking accoutrements (i.e, "shop" as opposed to "pick up and get out") may be more appealing than a tiny shop with gadgets and gear hanging literally floor-to-ceiling, every square inch accounted for.
It's not that I have anything against space efficiency, but it's that if you aren't looking for something specific, (if you are just shopping) then you find yourself doing so without walking around. You can "shop" in citybikes repair shop, for example, by just standing in one spot, looking up and down slowly and rotating 360 degrees. It would take you an hour though!
But almost nobody, woman or man, would do that without feeling a little awkward, and probably stopping shopping that way faster than they would if they could walk around while doing so.

Best of luck!
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2008, 12:28 PM
allisons allisons is offline
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It's interesting that you say that and label it non-gender specific - consumer studies of how women shop versus how men shop show that successful retailers selling to women allow a certain interaction between shoppers and products. Touching, looking, browsing, etc. There's a relationship with how long a person (and especially a woman) spends in a store to how likely they are to spend money there and the longer a person spends there, the more money they spend there - a shop designed to get women to linger will sell more to women.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2008, 12:37 AM
tinaaj tinaaj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allisons View Post
It's interesting that you say that and label it non-gender specific - consumer studies of how women shop versus how men shop show that successful retailers selling to women allow a certain interaction between shoppers and products. Touching, looking, browsing, etc. There's a relationship with how long a person (and especially a woman) spends in a store to how likely they are to spend money there and the longer a person spends there, the more money they spend there - a shop designed to get women to linger will sell more to women.
I have heard this too, and it might be right.
Personally, though, I do not "shop" at a bike store - I always have something specific I need when I go inside one.
Once inside, I might begin "shopping" (i.e., browsing, looking around, seeing if something is interesting) but usually I don't get that far because I've already been asked what I need; I have said "actually yes, where are you tire levers?", been shown the levers, and then at that point feel like shopping is done.

Somewhere deep inside, maybe I know that if I stay I might spend money unnecessarily, so I'm happy to hit the register?

End result - I don't shop at bike stores, and when I do I get such great service that it basically prevents my lingering.

make sense? anyone feel the same? I think studies also show typically consumers like being helped and quick service is a plus... but for me, it's not that way. I will ask if I need something and can't find it.

Last edited by tinaaj; 08-06-2008 at 12:40 AM.
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