NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)—Ahead of its official launch Friday, Dec. 2, REI staged a soft opening for its first New York City store over Thanksgiving weekend.
Located in Manhattan’s historic Puck Building, the 39,000-square-foot store serves customers on three floors. Bike services include a concierge check-in for bikes on the main floor and a full-service repair area in the sub-basement, said Brian Foley, REI director of merchandise and manager for cycling. Bike brands at the store include Novara, Marin, Raleigh Kids, Electra and, coming in late spring, Surly.
In serving Big Apple customers, REI has tweaked its mix of cycling products. “It’s not going to be a huge departure, but with Manhattan we’ll be emphasizing things like urban transportation bikes. But I’m not talking about fixies—good hybrids and fully accessorized transportation bikes,” said Foley.
The store also will offer road bikes at higher price points—$2,000 to $2,500—than typically found in the company’s stores. Additionally, car racks will be scaled back for New York, clothing and accessories will have a major presence, and the store will offer direct shipping to customers’ homes, “a common practice in Manhattan,” Foley said.
Bikes and cycling gear account for 15 percent of REI’s overall business.