One of the UK’s most successful sporting retail chains, Direct Golf, has diversified into cycling with the opening of its first Bike-Shed.com store in Huddersfield.
The 4,000 sq.ft. store, which has taken over part of the company’s flagship Direct Golf outlet in Leeds Road, is open seven days a week and currently holds more than £150k-worth of stock.
Store manager Joe Vanyuscsak explained: “The diversification into cycling has been in the pipeline for a number of years. It was something our owner, John Andrew – who is a very keen cyclist – has been very keen to do for some time. But the time needed to be right, and the improvement in the economy allied to the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire this summer means the timing is perfect for us.
“And, of course, the Bike-Shed.com brand benefits from the experience gained in 23 years of successful retailing achieved by Direct Golf.”
Cycling is one of the country’s fastest-growing participation sports, with membership of British Cycling – the national governing body for the sport – increasing by more than 100 per cent, to in excess of 88,000, since Sir Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France. And a plethora of gold medals in the last two Olympics and world championships has merely added to the popularity of the sport and made household names of Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Chris Froome – Britain’s second Tour de France victor.
This year’s Tour de France begins in Yorkshire in July and is preceded by the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling – both of which Bike-Shed.com will be attending.
Vanyuscsak added: “We’re currently stocking 50 per cent road bikes and 50 per cent off-road as both forms are increasing in popularity. We are catering for all levels of cyclist, from first-time buyer to the serious rider who requires a higher-spec bike and specialist advice and knowledge. To that end we have an in-house mechanic who is Cytech qualified – the bicycle industry’s recognised training and qualification scheme for mechanics and retail staff – heading our full service and repair centre.”
Brands stocked initially include KTM; GT; Marin, Mongoose; Saracen; Viking Cycles (entry to mid-range); Concept Cycles (juniors); Shimano components; Camelbak hydration packs; Bell and Giro helmets; and Pearl Izumi, Madison and Endura clothing. The company also participates in the popular Cycle to Work schemeand offers V12 Retail Finance, which enables flexible payment options. Orders can also be taken on-line at the company’s website (www.Bike-Shed.com).
The store opened officially on Saturday, 10th May, with a number of special offers, competitions and giveaways, as well as displays from a specialist trial team.
It is anticipated the Huddersfield outlet will be a pilot project as there are another 15 of Direct Golf’s 20 stores nationally that could accommodate a similarly sized Bike-Shed.com outlet.