BAKERSFIELD, CA (BRAIN)—Despite the slumping economy, Alan Bradley, owner of Finish Line Bikes in Bakersfield, California, saw his business in August 2008 double over last year. The same thing happened in September, while October is headed in that direction.
The increase in sales occurred the same time that Bradley changed the location of his bike shop of 24 years, and opened for business as a Giant Retail Partner (GRP) Podium store on October 25.
“I thought the new location and the new look would be successful,” he said. “But I never dreamed it would take off like this.”
Finish Line’s new store is directly across Stockdale Highway from the 8000-student campus of California State University Bakersfield. And the front of the store opens onto the Kern River Parkway, a 30-mile paved path used daily by bicyclists of all abilities to connect throughout Metro Bakersfield. Certainly, Bradley used the real estate mantra of “location, location, location” to grow his business. And he knows that more consumers come into his store—and stay longer—when they like the setting.
Finish Line is the 14th GRP Podium store to open since Giant began the program in early 2007. When a Giant retailer signs on at the Podium level, a retail development team begins working with the owner early in the design process to create a new sales atmosphere from the ground up. The team and the Giant retailer together determine store layout, paint scheme, lighting and fixtures. The resulting stores reflect shopping environments that consumers are more accustomed to finding in upscale shopping malls.
“The GRP team is great,” Bradley said. “The color palettes they gave us to choose from, the way they helped merchandise the store—just all the input that we got."
Giant retail development and merchandising manager Holly Wiese said it was obvious from the beginning that the new Finish Line store would be a hit.
“Alan found a spot that is about as perfect as you can get,” Wiese said. “And he really wanted to create something that would reflect and enhance the long-time connection he has with the community. He’s done so much for Bakersfield in the way of special events and rides, this new store is one more way he’s demonstrating his commitment to the area where he grew up.”
Dozens of cyclists turned out for two different group rides on the Kern River Trail to start the grand opening day. Urban freeride legend and Giant athlete ambassador Jeff Lenosky performed his Mountain Bike Trials Stunt Show twice for guests in the parking lot outside the store. A barbeque lunch was grilled for visitors and various prizes were awarded in a raffle at the end of the event including a 2009 Giant Suede bicycle.