MOUNT JULIET, TN (BRAIN) — The Biker’s Choice owner David Hardin saw the opening of his second store not only as a chance to enter a new community, but also as an opportunity to shake up his 23-year-old business a bit.
The new 4,500-square-foot Mount Juliet store, about 25 miles from Hardin’s larger flagship location in Hendersonville, Tennessee, soft-opened Dec. 1 and will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday, Dec. 8. Bike brands include Specialized, Trek, Mirraco, Haro and new additions Salsa and Redline.
“I’m kind of trying a new approach,” Hardin said. “I’m tired of the mechanics huddling up in the back. You can’t really have mechanics who don’t sell anymore, so we’ve got the mechanics really close to the floor. That’s kind of different for me.”
“I want to create career jobs, not burnout jobs” — David Hardin
He’s also converting both stores to a Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. schedule, helping to hold down payroll. But that’s not the only benefit.
“Ten to 6 is one shift, and that way I can have four full-timers in the store the whole day. When you drop off for repair, the guy you dropped off with will be the guy you pick it up from, so the customer relationship is complete,” Hardin said.
“I know there’s a demand from consumers for us to be open until 10 o’clock every night, but I think with good help and good full-time service we can train the customers to come in the hours we’re here.”
Recent cycling improvements in Mount Juliet also bode well for Hardin’s business. “The county has put some money into the roads for greenway activity. They also just opened up a mountain bike park in the middle of the community, so I’m looking forward to working with that,” he said, noting that several employees from his Hendersonville shop helped build the MTB park.
A former BMX pro who transitioned into retail at age 20, Hardin also makes it a priority to hire hard-core enthusiast riders and help them make the move into long-term careers in the bike business. “My mission is to help those really gifted bike riders really utilize their talents and create jobs for them,” he said.
Mechanics get the opportunity to move up in the chain of command, and Hardin is even looking into creating an employee stock option plan to get staffers financially vested into the business.
“I want to create career jobs, not burnout jobs,” he said.