MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BRAIN) — Peddler Bike Shop's flagship store, founded in 1971, will move to a new and bigger location across the street by May 1. The retailer has also opened a third store just south of the city and across the border in Southhaven, Miss.
"It's a great opportunity because there is no other bike retailer here," said Johnny Allen, service manager at the new store in Southhaven. "It's wide open."
The 3,600 square-foot retail space was designed as a Trek concept store, and is currently run by three employees. "We kind of hold barber-shop hours right now, a Tuesday-through-Saturday kind of thing," said Hal Mabray, owner of Peddler since 1990. "As spring comes, we'll expand our hours and bring on more staff to meet demand."
The flagship store, located near the University of Memphis, will gain a little over 1,000 additional square feet of space when it moves into an old YMCA building currently undergoing extensive renovation. When a friend invested in the building to turn it into a commercial space, Mabray jumped at the chance to move his store.
"There is more usable space with a taller ceiling, so more cubic feet," he said. "I'll be able to maximize efficiency there because right now, I do a lot of walking back and forth because our storage and bike build area is currently across the alley. This will make things a lot easier."
Since Peddler will occupy an area of the old YMCA that was formerly the swim center, Mabray plans to incorporate black and white photos into the décor. "We want to find people who learned how to swim at that pool, and hang photos of those old pool days in the store," he said. The pool was recently filled in with clay as part of the renovation.
And although it's a concept store, Mabray said that retail designers at Trek encouraged him to bring ceiling tiles from the original space into the new store in order to preserve some of the shop's character. Mabray bought his first bike there in 1973, and after tiring of his job at a plumbing supply warehouse, he started working at Peddler in 1986.
Besides gaining more space, another driver for the move was the desire to create a nicer work environment for his staff of eight. "I want it to be a pleasurable place to work," he said. "This is a big thing for us to accomplish and it's going to cost a lot of money over the next couple of years, but it's well worth it."
Peddler Bike Shop will open its new location in May. In addition to the store in Southhaven, the retailer also operates a shop in nearby Germantown, which opened in 1986.