TORONTO, Ontario (BRAIN)—Duke’s Cycles hosted a showcase of Cannondale’s 2012 road and mountain bikes last Thursday night in its new building along Toronto’s historic Queen Street West.
About 70 VIP customers sampled hors d’oeuvres washed down with wine and beer and mingled with shop owner Gary Duke and his employees while listening to rundown of Cannondale’s new models like the carbon fiber Scalpel 29er.
A complete line of Cannondale bikes were set up on customized racks painted in the brand’s signature bright green hue in a section of the shop devoted solely to Cannondale. Other brands like Sugoi, Trek, BMC and Cervélo also stocked floor space dedicated only to their products.
The separation by brand concept is one Cannondale’s visual merchandisor worked on with shop management before Duke’s reopened back in April after a devastating fire destroyed the nearly century old family-owned shop in 2008.
Partnering with dealers in shop design is one initiative of CSG Canada as it looks to raise the profile of Cannondale and GT in Canada, said Adam Ingrao, general manager of CSG Canada. The strategy is to team up with Cannondale dealers where appropriate to provide perspective and support on how the brand is displayed in each shop.
“We’re not looking at a full on concept store model. We are looking at improving the retail experience we’ve got,” Ingrao said.
Duke’s operated from a temporary location in Toronto for more than three years after a massive, six-alarm fire tore through its historic building and charred an entire city block in February 2008. To read about owner Gary Duke’s long process to rebuild the third generation family business, check out the November issue of BRAIN.