You are here

Specialized opens pop-up store in Germany; launches new Turbo model

Published May 5, 2017

DÜSSELDORF, Germany (BRAIN) — On the heels of launching the second model in its Turbo pedal-assist line, the urban-focused Vado, Specialized has opened a pop-up store here. The store opened Friday evening local time near the Königsallee, an area in the city's downtown that attracts more than 10,000 visitors each day.

In just under two months, the Tour de France will start here and pass by the new store.

The 4,000 square-foot pop-up location showcases Specialized's Turbo e-bikes, including the new Vado. The entire bottom floor of the store is dedicated to the Turbo Vado, with all five models on display, along with a small selection of urban apparel and accessories for men and women. On the second floor, the brand's e-MTB, the Levo, is showcased with a few pieces of off-road apparel. There is also a spacious lounge with a large screen for events and coffee, tea and other drinks.

For the first six weeks, Specialized will feature the Turbo models. It will then close the store for about a week to turn the focus to road bikes and re-open in time for the start of the Tour de France, which hasn't started in Germany since 1987. Specialized plans to operate the store for about four months.

Donny Perry, senior manager of retail development at Specialized, said the energy behind cycling right now in Düsseldorf, spurred in part by the Tour, along with continued growth in Germany's e-bike market, created an ideal atmosphere in which to open a pop-up. The timing of European launch of the Turbo Vado was also a factor.

"Düsseldorf was a key city for us in terms of e-bike growth, as well as e-bike growth in Germany overall, the Tour starting here, and the luck of finding a space near the Königsallee, which is one of the leading streets for fashion and brands in Europe — that perfect storm of events just came together and we saw an opportunity," said Perry, who started his career in bike retail in the Midwest and has worked in retail development for Specialized for nine years.

"We needed to take advantage of the opportunities for us and our retailers. We can do our part to raise awareness of e-bikes, cycling and Specialized, and launch the Turbo Vado in an exciting way and be present at the Tour in an exciting way," he added.

Specialized does not anticipate it will sell many bikes out of its pop-up location, and there is no service department. Perry said the goal was to use the store as a way to promote Turbo and the new Vado — but that communicating its intentions to Specialized retailers in Germany was also a priority.

"Key to doing this pop-up was that we have a really great relationship with our retailers. It was important to us that they saw this as not an 'us versus them'," he said. "It's more about making an investment into our marketing and strategic investments into a market that will benefit everyone — a tide that lifts all boats."

On Tuesday, Specialized invited area retailers to tour the store. They were the first to see the store, as Specialized staff who work in the brand's German office put the final touches on the space. Perry said the goal was to hear the retailers' thoughts on the store and be open about Specialized's plans for the pop-up.

Specialized’s pop-up retail shop is located just off Düsseldorf’s busy Königsallee, where the Tour de France will start on July 1

"We wanted to know if they were worried, if they were supportive — what were their thoughts. So we addressed all their concerns, and what we left with was a group of retailers who are in support of the idea, who understand the direction," he said.

"I think we're taking all the right small steps. You can walk into the store and tell right away that the story is around the Turbo family. We are selling some apparel but we don't have a service area to assemble bikes. Because of its location, there will be high traffic and we want this to be a way for people who are interested to get closer to the sport and brand," Perry added.

The store also sells T-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, notebooks and other accessories branded 'Ride Düsseldorf.' A map of the city's bike paths, which was made using Strava heat maps, is printed on the items. These will be available only at the pop-up. Specialized employees based in the brand's office in Germany will work at the store on a rotating basis.

Specialized launched the Turbo Vado, a flat-bar, mid-drive pedelec, earlier this week. With integrated front and rear lights, a rear rack and fenders, and a tagline that reads 'busy lives call for faster bikes', the Vado is designed for urban commuting and fitness riding. The aluminum frames are available in women's and men's versions, and have a built-in lockable battery that is removable to the side at a 45-degree angle.

Four Turbo Vado models will be available in the U.S. later this spring, including speed pedelec versions that top out at 28 miles per hour. They will start at $2,700.

Look for more about the Specialized Turbo Vado and the Düsseldorf pop-up store in the Life Cycle department of Bicycle Retailer's June 1 issue.


Join the Conversation