ARLINGTON, VA (BRAIN)—The new operators of the Conte’s franchise have finalized the Freshbikes name for six Conte’s stores and will transition to the new brand by August 2012.
Scott McAhren and Jody Bennett acquired the franchise license from former franchisor P & K Ventures last fall after P & K and Conte’s Bicycle and Fitness owners David and Charles Jr. Contes parted ways in court.
McAhren and Bennett own Conte’s shops in Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland—originally started under the former Conte’s franchise program—both with a focus on high-end road and triathlon bikes.
They plan to slowly implement a new branding strategy at the other six Conte’s franchises in Virginia and Maryland that includes changing to the Freshbikes name, launching a new Web site and aligning with brands that have been successful in their stores like Cannondale, Cervélo, Pinarello and Specialized. Owners will also get training on inventory management, buying and selling, a new database management system and PR and marketing support.
Store owners will continue to pay the 5 percent annual franchise fee to McAhren and Bennett.
They realize the transition will be a gradual process as some franchisees have had the Conte’s name for decades or need training to make up for the lack of support from the former franchisor.
“We’re getting there,” McAhren told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News Tuesday during a stop at the Arlington store as part of BRAIN’s Washington D.C. Dealer Tour. “We want to make a good situation for each partner.”
The changeover will start at McAhren’s and Bennett’s Arlington and Bethesda locations.
David and Charles Jr. Contes are no longer part of the franchise system and maintain ownership of their two Virginia shops.
Photo: Scott McAhren looks on as his business partner Jody Bennett talks about the new Freshbikes business strategy during BRAIN's Washington D.C. Dealer Tour on Tuesday.