SANTA MONICA, CA (BRAIN) – Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles, a flagship concept store for Specialized, appears to be in transition as its owner and general manager Eric Woods recently left. Longtime store manager Jim Whitsett was let go before Woods’ departure, according to sources close to the matter.
Reasons for Woods’ departure are unclear. Some attribute it to personal and family reasons. But people familiar with the matter also said the store may have been going through financial hardship.
Sources say Specialized has taken over the business. However, Specialized officials and Cynergy employees have declined to comment. And attempts to reach Woods via email were unsuccessful.
A representative for one of the brands the shop carried, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Cynergy had been late on payments. “We’ve had to stop shipping to them a half dozen times in the last year,” this source said.
The vendor was informed that Specialized would be making arrangements to settle unpaid accounts, but hasn’t received payment or any other communication in three weeks.
Cynergy stocked a significant amount of inventory in addition to Specialized. According to its website, it carries Independent Fabrication, BMC, Yeti and Raleigh bikes, and a few dozen accessory and apparel brands. But this vendor said that orders of product other than Specialized would be greatly reduced. “That doesn’t bode well for a lot of brands that are in there,” he said.
Cynergy is one of the major retail players in the West Los Angeles market. Catering to the high end, the store is known and frequented by Hollywood celebrities and known for hosting parties, events and rides in the area. Inventory was valued at more than $1 million.
Augusto Sasso, a local real estate developer and cycling enthusiast, first opened Cynergy Cycles in June 2006. Sean Flynn, owner of Surf City Cyclery, another Specialized concept store, briefly managed the business and considered buying it in 2009 but opted to expand further in Orange County instead.
More recently, Woods, a former territory manager for Los Angeles and Orange County for Specialized, took over the helm and became a partner in the business with Specialized.