BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—The Hub Bicycle Co-Op in Minneapolis has contracted the QBP ReTale Program to design a bike-commuter store in the new University of Minnesota (U of M) Bike Center.
Located in a former transit waiting area in the university’s Oak Street parking ramp the Hub store will be part of a facility designed to make it safer and easier for students, faculty, university employees and area residents to commute by bike. The Bike Center will provide commuters with bike lockers, restrooms and showers and conference rooms for meetings and educational programs. The Hub Co-Op bike commuter store and the U of M Bike Center are scheduled to open in Spring 2010.
“This is a great opportunity for QBP to partner with the Hub and the University of Minnesota on such an important advocacy project,” said Steve Flagg, president of QBP.
“The new bike center and other venues like it in the Twin Cities are making commuting by bike available to more people than ever. We see the Hub’s new store as a critical
element in supporting the commuter lifestyle and making Minnesota a leading bike-friendly state.”
Catering exclusively to the needs of commuters, the Hub’s 700-square-foot store will offer repair services and essential products like gloves, helmets, tubes, tires, bike locks, lighting systems, racks, panniers and bags. Due to space limitations, the shop will not carry bikes. The store will also offer bike repair classes for commuters.
“Our goal is to be a really effective community resource that fully supports people biking to the University,” said Benjamin Tsai, development coordinator for the Hub. “Given the transit center’s unique mission, we feel it is important to create a shop that fits the environment. We chose ReTale to design it because we knew they’d work with us to achieve the right look for our identity. It’s a very interactive process where we get to offer a lot of feedback. The end result won’t look like some generic concept store; it will be a genuine expression of who we are.”
Sarah Schleisman, QBP ReTale Program coordinator, said that well-planned and executed design is extremely important. “Because of the breadth of product categories in such a small space, it’s very important to create a strong sense of visual organization. Products need to be easily accessible so busy commuters can grab what they need and go.
It’s equally important to define a sense of place by elevating the Hub’s unique store brand.”
Schleisman, who has an extensive background in merchandising, is designing the space, creating fixture and merchandise plans. ReTale graphic designers will create Hubbranded imagery and signage for the store interior and exterior.
The U of M Bike Center is one of six federally funded bike and pedestrian improvement programs under way in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Transit for Livable Communities, a
local non-profit organization, has been designated by the federal government to administer $21 million in funds for all these initiatives. Learn more by visiting
tlcminnesota.org (click on link).