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Former BikeStreet store reopens as FreeHub Bicycles

Published November 28, 2014

GREENVILLE, S.C. (BRAIN) — One of BikeStreet’s former stores recently reopened with a new name: FreeHub Bicycles. Owner Matt Rinella said FreeHub’s location on Woodruff Road in Greenville, South Carolina, is one of three former BikeStreet stores he hopes to get up and running over the coming months. The other two—one in downtown Greenville and the other in Lexington—will open around January, Rinella said. 

Rinella, 40, was the regional manager for BikeStreet USA’s nine stores in North and South Carolina. Rinella owned three stores he sold to BikeStreet, including the Woodruff location. 

“I took the BikeStreet deal because I thought there was a possibility it could work. I thought it would take longer to figure that out,” he said. “It was an interesting experience. I don’t regret it. There’s no way I can sit here and tell you I was worse off for having made that choice. I sold the stores and got paid. It just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.”

The Woodruff Road store reopened for business Nov. 7. 

Rinella said he built out the downtown Greenville store for BikeStreet from scratch and one of its advantages is that it has a Rails-to-Trails bike path within steps. The Lexington store had been in business for 20 years before it was acquired from an owner that was retiring. “He was not going to reopen that store [after BikeStreet shuttered] and I thought we’re basically abandoning that town from having a bike shop,” Rinella said. 

All three stores were profitable under BikeStreet’s ownership, Rinella said. His main bike lines are Cannondale, Raleigh, BMC and Santa Cruz. He said two of the stores will carry Scott. 

Rinella expects to rehire about five former BikeStreet employees. Currently, he has rehired one former BikeStreet employee at the Woodruff store. On Thanksgiving week, he said traffic was “as healthy as it can be for a cold November.” For the month that location was closed, Rinella held Saturday morning group rides that met there to keep locals informed and in touch with the store. “I’ve had so many people come through and say man I’m glad you’re here,” Rinella said. 

BikeStreet finalizes liquidation of inventory 

BikeStreet USA began selling off inventory as it prepared to shutter its doors in early October. The liquidation sale and closure of all remaining stores was completed Nov. 23, said Tony Karklins, the company’s executive vice president of merchandising and business development.

“We’ve now closed all the stores and sold 100 percent of the inventory. We’ve turned some stores over to the landlords or new owners of the stores,” he said.

Eight of BikeStreet’s 17 former stores are reopening under new or former owners and names. In Florida, the stores that are reopening are in Stuart, Port Saint Lucie and Jupiter. The Hobe Sound store closed, but the store’s former owner opened up a new bike shop near the old location. 

In North Carolina, the Asheville store will continue under new ownership. In South Carolina, two stores in Greenville and one in Lexington, acquired by former regional manager for the Carolinas Matt Rinella, will continue to serve their local clientele.  

“Most of the stores that are reopening are doing so this weekend,” Karklins added. “These are fresh stores opening with experienced staff and no inventory excess.”

In addition to Rinella, the former regional manager for BikeStreet’s Florida stores, Bryan Liles, has acquired the Stuart, Florida, store. His wife, Julie, previously managed that location. 


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