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Fullerton Still Moving High-End Bikes

Published November 11, 2008

FULLERTON, CA (BRAIN)—Mike Franze’s sales are up 25 percent this year so far compared to last year and were up in the month of October. So why does he sound worried?

“I’m scared to death—it’s new territory for bike guys. We’ve never seen the economy the way it is,” said Franze, the owner of Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles.

Added to his concerns about the economy are the industry’s price increases for new model year bikes.

“We’ve never seen this big an increase. I think there are going to be a lot of obstacles in the next year, but we’re still moving high-end stuff,” he said, citing Giant Trance full-suspension mountain bikes moving off the floor.

Franze, a self-described inspired BMX racer, conveys his passion for cycling when he speaks about his business. He bought the Fullerton store, a former Two Wheel Transit store, six years ago this March. Three years ago he took over the Buena Park store from the same owner.

He said this year, for the first time, Buena Park has seen a good sales bump. But his Fullerton store still outperforms the Buena Park location.

“The fact that it’s still a family store—not a stiff concept store—works. It just has a good aroma and good flow,” he said.

The store was the first prototype Breakaway store—a base level Giant Retail Partner store—and has prominent Giant racks, fixtures and signage. Franze said as part of the remodel three years ago, he opened up the shop floor and created an “Armani, Gucci” environment. He said 55 to 60 percent of his purchasing dollars go to Giant and he does well with the brand. He said, in particular, Giant Maestro full-suspension bike sales have been phenomenal.

“A lot of it is my passion for Giant—if I’m hustling a bike, it’s going to be a Giant,” he said.

The store dedicates a good portion of the floor to BMX bikes and accessories. Franze said BMX is a gateway for many of his family sales. He cited as an example a dad who came in to buy BMX parts for his son and came back a few months later to buy a Giant Trance for himself.

—Megan Tompkins

Photo: Elysa Walk, general manager of Giant, looks on as Mike Franze talks about business in his Fullerton shop

Topics associated with this article: Events

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