NEWBURY PARK, CA (BRAIN)—During the build-out of his new Giant Brand Store in El Paso, Texas, Crazy Cat Cyclery owner Roberto Barrio said, "I’m a really good bike guy, but I’m not a very good merchandising guy. I learned so much from Giant about how to layout a store.”
On January 22 and 23, Barrio and his staff celebrated the grand opening of his third—and largest—Crazy Cat Cyclery. Hundreds of regular patrons and new customers turned out for a kick-off party, group rides, raffle giveaways, a barbecue, and stunt-show performances by Giant pro and urban freeride legend Jeff Lenosky (see video on front page).
The new store has been designed in partnership with Giant Bicycle’s retail merchandising team and is fully dedicated to showcasing the Giant brand and product. It’s the first retail space in the Giant Brand Store program that displays the Giant logo in large blue neon lights on the storefront.
Barrio's new location encompasses 4,500 square feet, with 2700 square feet dedicated to retail space. The feel of the store is open, welcoming, and easy-to-negotiate. “I learned you can do so much with so little inventory on the floor,” Barrio said. “You don’t need to pack it all in. How you display it helps you turn it over faster—it’s just easier. Everything is easier with this store. I wish my other two stores were like this.”
The store features Giant-themed displays and inspirational messaging in its décor, with an emphasis on Spanish text to better connect with the region’s large population of Spanish-speaking customers. “If we’re going to stay in business we’ve got to care about how our store looks and the image we present, if we’re going to reach out to more cyclists,” Barrio said, speaking of the bicycle industry in general. “We’ve got to become more professional.”
The new Crazy Cat Cyclery location is already showing success in reaching out to new cyclists. The store’s “soft” opening took place on November 6, 2009. “We opened in the winter, which is what I wanted to kind of find our groove,” Barrio said. “We doubled our sales in December over November and January has already outpaced December. I feel fantastic. Things are going well.”