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Accell North America opens Raleigh factory store in West LA

Published August 24, 2016
Raleigh's new Santa Monica store

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Accell North America held a grand opening party over the weekend to celebrate the opening of its first dedicated Raleigh brand store in the nation. The store on Main Street in Santa Monica isn’t new for Accell North America. But it was formerly an Izip e-bike concept store.

It’s been rebranded, focusing on the Raleigh product line, though it will sell some Izip and Haibike electric bikes.

“We have a lease on the space and wanted to give it a refresh and decided to rebrand it in the process,” Larry Pizzi, senior vice president of Raleigh Bicycles, told BRAIN. “We don’t have good distribution for Raleigh in this market so there’s no dealer conflict.”

“Our primary intent is to use elements from it to do store-in-store POP and share with our dealer base,” he added. 

The store has less than 2,000 feet of showroom, but has an outside area and storage space. It’s set up as a boutique and Pizzi said it will be a test center for engaging consumers with self-help kiosks to fulfill transactions quickly.

“The idea is to test that out and what we hope to be able to do is create a store-in-store environment using elements from the design of the store along with kiosk and a small bike display so we can engage some dealers who maybe never thought about being a Raleigh dealer because they can’t afford a commitment to another brand,” Pizzi said.

Pizzi said Raleigh lacks brand representation in key markets like West Los Angeles because it has been pushed out over the years by the Big Three who demand greater commitments and floor space from dealers. The closest Raleigh stores are in Ventura County and Pasadena, 70 and 30 miles away, respectively.

“This has happened slowly but surely over the last five years or so and it’s just not acceptable not to be able to buy a Raleigh in West L.A.,” he said.

Especially since Pizzi said there’s demand, something the company has become aware of through website traffic and interest from the region. Raleigh began its click-to-brick online sales program in April, and has begun to connect the dots on where demand for bikes is coming from and whether it’s being met.

In the first week that the Izip store was turned into a “fulfiller” it delivered two pairs of Raleigh bicycles from consumers ordering his and hers sets.

The store will carry a broad assortment of Raleigh bikes, but it will be market-specific with some models available for people to buy via kiosk.

Pizzi stressed that ANA doesn’t want to be in the brick-and-mortar business and at the moment doesn’t intend to open Raleigh stores in weak markets. But rather it’s thinking about ways in which a consumer can get a professional assembled bike delivered. “We’re using it to try to develop store-in-store kiosk fulfillment branding elements that we can place into smaller shops or non-traditional bicycle retailers,” Pizzi said. 

 

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