BOSTON, MA (BRAIN)—Bicycle Retailer & Industry News editors will find out how retailers in Boston have fared this season as part of the magazine’s Dealer Tour that kicks off today.
BRAIN staff and sponsors Giant Bicycles, Craft, Lazer, Panaracer, Pedro’s and Speedplay will get on bikes to personally visit a dozen retailers in the greater Boston area this week. The staff will talk with storeowners about the state of retail, issues they face, and how they are managing in today’s uncertain retail sales environment.
“Modern business practices allow us to get a bit too comfortable staying in the office, looking at numbers and communicating only by phone or e-mail. I see a tremendous value in getting out into the field and visiting with dealers to help me understand their individual markets,” said Michael Pederson, Lazer product manager at QBP.
In addition, participants will get to experience Boston’s growing cycling scene while touring the city by bike. Inspired by Mayor Thomas Menino, who has pledged to transform Boston into a world-class cycling city, the city has added five miles of bike lanes, installed 250 bike racks and printed 40,000 bike maps this year. Mayor Menino will share his plans to make the city more bike-friendly on Wednesday when he pays the group a visit.
“There is an amazing bike culture here in Boston from road to ’cross to mountain to urban that often gets overlooked,” said Eric Schenker, general manager of Craft, which is located just north of the city. “What will make this tour interesting is that there is such a wide array of shops that will be visited and that should give us a great flavor of the issues facing a four-season marketplace like we have in New England.”
The concept builds on successful BRAIN Dealer Tours in Orange County and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Giant will return as the tour’s presenting sponsor, providing bikes and support for riders.
“From Orange County to Minneapolis and now in Boston, Giant has learned that the best way to understand the diversity of independent bicycle dealers and their city's unique cycling infrastructure is to visit them—by bike. The knowledge we gain from this tour will help inspire Giant's direction as we concentrate on supporting our retail network in 2010,” said Brad Klipping, marketing manager for Giant.
The three-day event begins today and wraps up Wednesday. Editors will produce daily web reports and enhanced multimedia coverage including video clips and photo galleries on the BRAIN Blog.
Be sure to check back here all week for online coverage. You can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bicycleretailer.