ORANGE, CA (BRAIN)—Among the retail lessons John Pavlisin has learned from his father is the importance of owning your building.
“Money stays in your pocket. I’ve heard of stores doing OK moving, but you can be knocked out if someone else is willing to pay more rent. Sometimes that can be devastating,” said Pavlisin, whose father, John Sr., built the building that houses Orange Cycle in 1974 on a former gas station site.
Working behind the counter on a busy Tuesday afternoon along with Pavlisin was his mom, dad and sister, Vicky. And like any family, they don’t always get along.
“We argue like siblings,” said Al Boneta, the store’s manager.
But that formula seems to work. Pavlisin said sales were up 38 percent in October, much of that due to increases in labor and parts from people bringing in old bikes for service.
“People are bringing out relics—stuff I remember selling 20 years ago,” he said.
Still, like other Orange County shop owners BRAIN has visited over the past two days, Pavlisin is playing it safe with purchasing for next year.
“In the past we’ve bought heavy; this year we’re not going as deep,” he said.
Specialized is its No. 1 supplier, but the shop stocks a wide range of brands including Diamondback, Schwinn, Bianchi and Electra. “My definition of concept is choice,” Pavlisin said.
He said price increases on new model year bikes are making him nervous for the coming year. “People are balking a bit,” Pavlisin said, particularly at price hikes on cruisers, BMX bikes and kids bikes.
Boneta worries that could also affect holiday sales this December, which is historically the store’s first or second best sales month. “We’re predicting down for Christmas,” said Boneta, adding that with no hot Xbox or Playstation games this season, bikes could be a popular gift.
One other lesson Pavlisin has learned: you gotta buy right. To ensure the right product mix, he stays involved in purchasing.
“One thing I will never give up is buying,” he said. “That’s a mistake most owners make—they give up on purchasing and are out of touch.”
Photo: John Pavlisin and his sister Vicky work the counter at Orange Cycle on Tuesday afternoon