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Velofix eyes ’new approach’ for Manhattan

Published October 3, 2017
The mobile franchiser is considering smaller vans or "Velofix Light" operations.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Mobile service franchiser Velofix may depart from its usual practices as its eyes expansion into the core of the Big Apple.

Velofix announced last week that it would begin serving some of the communities surrounding Manhattan, including Long Island, Brooklyn, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Victor van Eijk has purchased franchise rights in those Velofix territories, starting out with two vans this fall and expanding with more vans next year in the New York Metro area.

But Velofix founder and CEO Chris Guillemet told BRAIN that it may take something different to service Manhattan, which is a very large bike market but has crowded streets and enormous rents. Guillemet noted that the Velofix Direct program, in which Velofix vans assemble and deliver bikes for more than 20 brands, plus Amazon, is an increasingly important part of its business, and he expects Velofix could fulfill many bike orders in Manhattan.

"The amount of bikes getting delivered into that market is immense," he said. "We could have 20-plus vans there just doing deliveries."

Guillemet said Velofix has not sold any franchises in Manhattan, and is considering servicing the island itself.

"We are looking maybe at something like 'Velofix Light' as we get into more deliveries there. We may use smaller vans or different kinds of delivery vehicles. We are looking for the right kind of partners there, or we may look at doing something corporately."

He said vehicles focused on deliveries wouldn't need as many tools or as much merchandise as regular Velofix vans. "You'd need a few tools and maybe some pedals, bottle cages and things like lights, but you wouldn't need the full array."

He said there are ample opportunities to service bikes at corporations, as well as a lot of potential contracts servicing studio spin bikes. Although cycling is a seasonal sport in New York, he said Manhattanites order up a large number of holiday bikes that could keep Velofix delivery vans busy in November and December.

Guillemet said Velofix is continuing to grow quickly and he expects it to have sold 150 franchises by year's end.

"We are coming up on five years in operation, but we are still very much a new model. Our biggest challenge remains educating people that a service like this exists."

Topics associated with this article: Mobile service

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