NEWBURY PARK, CA (BRAIN)—Giant Bicycles is launching its first "Giant Bicycle Store" called Cycle Star this October in Santa Maria, California.
Santa Maria is located 75 miles north of Santa Barbara off the 101 freeway.
With the Giant Bicycle Store, 90 percent of bicycles and parts and accessories will either be Giant only, or Giant distributed.
Up to now, Giant Retail Partner shops have been either “Breakaway” stores, featuring select specific fixtures that highlight Giant products, or “Podium” stores, which have been completely designed from the floor to the ceiling with Giant-inspired color schemes, messaging, fixtures and lighting. There are 80 Breakaway and Podium stores currently in the Giant retail network, with 10 more in the planning stages or about to open. These GRP stores carry other bicycle brands as well as Giant.
Giant retail development and merchandising manager Holly Weise said Giant partnered in this new enterprise with Scott Clark (pictured), the owner of Cycle Star, because Clark was eager to sell Giant and he has a proven history of success.
“Scott has an excellent track record with his other store in Santa Maria, Mainstreet Cycles," Wiese said. "He’s very enthusiastic about opening a second store and he’s committed to growing the Giant brand along with his brand. We feel there’s no better person to partner with as we develop this exciting new direction for Giant.”
Clark has been selling bikes at Mainstreet Cycles since 1986. He accelerated his plans for a second store in Santa Maria when he discovered that another shop in town—which had been a Giant retailer—was going out of business.
“When the idea for Cycle Star began to emerge, we already knew our competitor was going away," Clark said. "This was going to leave two major brands literally up for grabs, one being Giant Bicycle. I held meetings with both companies at Interbike that year, and the staff at Giant was more interested and willing to listen to our plans. Giant’s history in town, combined with a wonderful corporate staff, made the decision easy.”
Both Clark and Wiese emphasized that Cycle Star will not be just another “concept store” similar to those of other major bicycle brands.
“From my travels and racing throughout California, I have made a point of visiting many shops and ‘concept stores’ of all types along the way,” Clark said. “Some were great, others left me cold. Their store could have been ‘anywhere USA.’ What I have found that makes the difference with Giant’s GBS store idea is that Giant places a very high concern for the dealer first, and the Giant brand second.”
Clark added, “Giant has made this a collaborative effort, in that they have given me flexibility to keep and celebrate our local dealer identity, while elevating the Giant brand. The result will be that we have a national caliber store with a local dealer feel that is unique to us and our market.”
For more on this story, be sure to read the October issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.