SANTA MONICA, CA (BRAIN)—Close to 100 people met super-sprinter Mark Cavendish, while getting signed copies of his new book, “Boy Racer: My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breaker” at Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica on Monday night.
“The response was really good,” said Brad Edwards, store manager at Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica. “We got a lot of people from outside the area. We sold around 80 books.”
Helen’s ran a sale in line with Cavendish’s visit, selling plenty of Fizik, Continental and Shimano gear. “We do stuff like this to give back to our loyal customers,” Edwards said.
Because Los Angeles hosted the last two stages of this year’s Tour of California, the buzz created at Helen’s in Santa Monica was off the charts. “We had a lot of people from outside the area checking the shop out,” Edwards said. “Anything branded L.A. or Helen’s was selling—T-shirts, kits.”
Up in Northern California, Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz held its own Tour of California related event, welcoming Giant’s Team Rabobank to its store after stage three (check out video on BRAIN's homepage). The team signed autographs, shook hands and posed for pictures for roughly 300 adoring fans.
“We had a busy day,” said Aaron Jacobs, manager of Bicycle Trip. “But we won’t actually reap the [sales] benefits until a month or two after.”
To show how important Bicycle Trip felt the San Francisco to Santa Cruz stage was, the shop put up $20,000 to sponsor it, and had a booth in the expo area at the finish line.
“It’s got to be one of the biggest events we’ve done,” Jacobs said of the Rabobank gathering. It was definitely the biggest event since adding 6,000 square feet, making it into a Giant Retail Partner store, according to Jacobs. The shop had its “soft” grand opening last fall, while the official grand opening takes place July 17.
For more on what Edwards had to say about the positive Tour of California impact on Helen’s, be sure to read the June 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
(PHOTO: Helen’s general manager Jay Wolff (left) with famed cyclist Mark Cavendish)