ROCHESTER HILLS, MI (BRAIN)—KLM Bike and Fitness celebrated its “Grand Reopening” at its Rochester Hills, Michigan, store on Saturday, May 30. The store is the 16th Giant Retail Partner (GRP) Podium store in Giant’s growing list of retailers employing the brand’s business approach.
KLM owner Frank Marciniak opened his first store in 1996, and became a Giant dealer the following year. He chose the GRP approach for his 2009 remodel because it let him improve the look of his store without losing its character.
“We liked the idea of keeping our identity and maintaining individuality while projecting a much more professional image,” he said. “We also liked the idea of listening to professionals and letting them show us what has been working with other dealers, instead of trying to re-invent the wheel.”
GRP Podium stores are completely designed from the floor to the ceiling with Giant-inspired color schemes, messaging, fixtures and lighting. The store’s owners work with a Giant retail development team to design a business with a look that consumers are accustomed to seeing in upscale shopping centers.
“If I had done it myself it would look a lot like the old store with new carpet, and it would have taken longer," he said. He reports there are two common reactions new and long-time customers have when they first walk in. “‘Wow, this is nice’ and ‘this store is beautiful’ seem to be the top two responses,” Marciniak said.
He notes that the fashionable look of the store not only makes it more enjoyable for his customers—it also makes it easier to close a sale. “Business has been great. We are noticing less sensitivity to pricing, and we are seeing people asking for ‘deals’ less," he said.
During the remodel KLM moved to a temporary space next to the store. “It was cramped, but it did not last long,” said Marciniak, giving a nod to Retail Resources, the Boulder, Colorado company that handles most Giant Retail Partner projects. “We handed the keys over to Retail Resources on April 6, and we moved back in May 14.”
Giant’s Retail Partner program began two years ago. In addition to 16 “Podium” level stores, there are three premier Giant Bicycle Stores, which elevate the brand’s characteristics even more. There are also more than 50 “Breakaway” level GRP stores, which use the fixtures and signs to update a store’s look.
“I am extremely proud of our GRP stores,” said Giant’s general manager Elysa Walk, who was in attendance at KLM’s grand reopening. “Retailers like Frank have been amazing people to work with. We frequently hear that Giant is the company dealers want to align with due to our high ethics and proven display of true partnership. It’s in this true partnership that we work together towards our mutual goal of meeting the needs of bicycle consumers around the globe, one bicycle and one rider at a time.
(PHOTO by Beth Cordova)