BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — As the holiday shopping season comes to a close, retailers are still feeling the effects of the 100-year flood that ravaged Colorado’s front range in mid-September. Heavy rain and catastrophic flooding took a toll on life, property and industry. Boulder County was the hardest hit, receiving more than 17 inches of rain in just three days.
Chad Taylor, the retail buyer at Full Cycle in Boulder, said that besides financial impacts of the flood, damage to road and bike paths has also affected cyclists in the region. Coupled with a severe cold snap at the end of November, December got off to a slow start for the specialty retailer located in Boulder’s Pearl Street shopping district.
“It was so slow at the beginning of the month,” said Taylor. “I think it was a combination of the way the flooding affected industry here, and the sub-zero temperatures we had a few weeks ago.”
But the good news is the holiday shopping season has started to pick up, and over the past couple of weeks, Full Cycle has been busier than expected. “It’s ramped up for sure and this past week has been really busy,” Taylor said. “Everything in the store is 10 percent off, which has helped our bike sales.”
“People are buying bikes for their kids for $150, on up to $8,000 bikes for their significant other,” he added.
Other popular items this season are Park Tools’ sporks and books by The Bike Snob, as well as cold weather cycling gear. “It’s Boulder,” said Taylor. “The cold isn’t going to stop cyclists for long.”
Following a week or so of single-digit high temperatures, holiday shopping season has also picked up for Summit Cycle in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To draw people into the store, Summit Cycle is running a 12 Days of Christmas promotion. Social media manager and event coordinator James Holm said that using multimedia and social networking to advertise the sales has helped get the word out.
“We have been putting a short video up on our website each day to highlight the item that’s on sale,” said Holm. “And we’ve noticed that people are engaging more with this kind of content, and coming into the store asking for what’s on sale that day.”
Holm said that Summit Cycle has worked hard to build an online presence via social media networks over the past year. He feels that having an engaging and fun video to showcase products and sale items has been an effective way to grab consumers’ attention. As for the 12 Days of Christmas promotion, the most popular day so far was—perhaps not surprisingly, since it’s winter in northern Indiana—the day trainers were on sale.
And seemingly in sync with what’s happening at many other IBDs this holiday season, the week before Christmas has been the busiest so far. “Bike sales are up,” said Holm. “One thing we’ve noticed is that people are shopping around more this year—probably online—and aren’t as ready to buy, especially when it comes to apparel and accessories.”
“But we will definitely be doing the 12 Days of Christmas promo again next year,” he added. “And, more like it in the future.”