By Adeline Bash, Public Relations Associate for Product Architects, Inc. — the manufacturer of the Polar Bottle insulated water bottles.
Last week Polar Bottle asked our Facebook fans to tell us the name and location of their favorite bike shop for a chance to win $100 gift card to their suggested retailer.
The response from our fans was overwhelming, with close to 100 of our followers immediately commenting on the post and oohing and awing over their favorite shops. In the end, Jonathan Stillman won the gift card to his favorite shop, Plaine and Son Bike Shop in Schenectady, New York. The giveaway was an effort to better connect with, and further support, bicycle retailers around the country and we plan to organize other events, meetings and giveaways in the coming weeks.
At Polar Bottle, our company history has always been closely intertwined with the bicycle retailers that carry our product. We got our start back in 1994 thanks to a handful of shops willing to take a chance on a new product with the first insulated sport bottle on the market. Since then, though our customer base has expanded significantly, small bike retailers continue to represent a significant percentage of our business.
On a broader scope, we recognize that retailers are key players in the success of our entire industry.
First and foremost, bicycle retailers provide the one-on-one support and expertise key to getting more people on bikes. Closing the sale for a 7-year-old’s first bicycle or encouraging an adult to invest in a better bike, for example, is often the tipping point to creating a lifelong cyclist, a lifelong investor in cycling gear and, ideally, an active member of the cycling community.
Additionally, from small mom-and-pop establishments to larger retail stores, many shops are working tirelessly to improve the bike infrastructures in their communities. And with weight of the economic benefits of cycling to back them, retailers have some of the strongest voices in the advocacy movement.
“Retailers are not always the biggest money makers in this industry but this does not mean they are not some of the most important players,” said Polar Bottle president Judy Amabile. “Our successes — whether we are manufacturers, suppliers, distributors or retailers are interconnected. It’s important that we recognize this and support one another.”