BURLINGTON, MA (BRAIN)—After tracking steady annual growth in the BMX category, Jeff Palter decided to give his BMX customers a place of their own. Palter, the owner of Cycle Loft outside Boston, last week opened a dedicated BMX and skateboard shop.
“When we looked at the BMX customer the vast majority never purchased out of that category. They were walking past 90 percent of our inventory and they didn't even care,” said Palter. “Now we’ve got a focused store just for them.”
The stand-alone BMX store, called Local BMX Co., is about 50 feet across the street from Cycle Loft. With a dedicated 1,200 square feet of space, Palter said Local BMX Co. is now the largest specialty BMX store in Massachusetts.
Palter said he will flesh out the category by stocking more BMX and skate shoes and denim, and creating a skate section with hardgoods and softgoods. Palter said his goal is to offer a wide selection with at least 100 bikes on the floor. Local will sell race bikes from Intense Racing and Redline, and freestyle bikes from FIT, Verde, Hoffman, Sunday, Kink, Subrosa, Colony, We The People, Specialized, Haro, Mirraco, S&M, and Skavenger.
While online competition in BMX is fierce, Palter said it’s still possible to sell bikes and hardgoods at a decent margin. He cited statistics from Vitalbmx.com, the largest web portal for the BMX community, that found 47 percent of BMX sales still go through brick and mortar retailers.
Local BMX Co. will show its support for the local BMX community with the tagline, “Ride local. Buy local.” “What we’re really trying to do is compete with mail order by trying to bring a local feel to our shop and product,” said Palter.