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David’s World Cycle expands with 18th store

Published June 27, 2017
Sanborn bought Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole and reopened it David’s World Cycle.

ORLANDO, Fla. (BRAIN) — David Sanborn opened his first shop, which is still housed in the same location in Orlando's College Park neighborhood, in 1989. Since then the retailer has opened David's World Cycle stores all over Central Florida, including two in the past two months, bringing Sanborn's brick-and-mortar count to 18.

“We're having a good time helping a lot of folks ride bikes,” said Sanborn. “By opening new stores and acquiring others, we're bringing cycling to the people rather than them have to come to us.” Even with 18 locations, David's World Cycle stores are fairly spread out, with the closest stores located seven miles apart. Sanborn, who has opened just over half of his stores as new shops and the rest as acquisitions, said there is still opportunity to open more.

“In Tampa and St. Petersburg we have four stores, but I think there's still room for five or six more,” he said. “But it's tough out there right now. I think we're at a ten-year low, but I really view that as there is nothing but an up side now — I think it will bounce back, especially with all the trails and infrastructure going in. That's what drives our business, giving people safe places to go and enjoy a bicycle. You don't have to compete with cars like we did when we were young.”

Sanborn opened his first store in Orlando when he was 19.

“I went on my first group ride when I was 14 years old, wearing blue jeans and sneakers,” he said. “I rode 25 miles on an old Motobecane and I guess I was hooked.”

Sanborn purchased Trek dealer Daytona Bicycle Center in Daytona Beach, Florida in June.

David's World Cycle was originally a Fuji and Miyata dealer, but in 1993, Sanborn began carrying Trek.

“Trek kind of acquired me,” said Sanborn, laughing. “I had picked up Klein, Fisher and LeMond, so as they acquired those brands they kind of got us, too.”

Besides Trek and Electra, David's World Cycle also carries Catrike, which is a new addition. Sanborn acquired the brand when he bought the 3-store chain, Sun Cycle, last year. To Sanborn's surprise, DWC has done well with the 3-wheeled category.

“Sun Cycle's specialty was trikes, and at first we weren't sure about the category, but now we love it. Trikes, and e-bikes, are categories that are growing by leaps and bounds for us,” he said. “We're doing just awesome with Catrike, which is an amazing product made right here in our backyard. So now we have them in all of our stores.”

Sanborn's most recent acquistions include Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, and Daytona Bicycle Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, which he reopened as DWC locations in May and June, respectively. Both were Trek dealers.

“When it's an acquisition we like to give the team that's there an opportunity to transition, learn our procedures and how we operate,” Sanborn said. “So we wait about three to six months to remodel because otherwise we've learned it's just too much change at once — for customers and employees.”

Sanborn typically waits a few months to remodel and rebrand stores after acquiring them.

David's World Cycle currently employs about 105 people across its 18 locations, including two full-time buyers. Sanborn's wife, Yvette, is the company's CEO and also develops its training programs. Each store has its own managers, which meet daily via video conference call and once a month at DWC's corporate office for training and problem solving. A service director and the aftermarket buyer also visit shops daily to stay connected. And Sanborn visits two stores per day, five days a week.

“Bringing everyone together in the same place is difficult to do when your stores are 250 miles apart, but some teams felt they were on an island and didn't get visited enough before,” Sanborn said. “So we got to work on that and found a solution. Now the teams get a lot of interaction.”

Sanborn plans to continue to add stores. He has a goal of reaching 40 stores by 2027.

“That's conservative, I think,” said Sanborn, who is the sole owner of all DWC locations. “We went from four to 18 stores in nine and a half years. So going from 18 to 40 is realistic.”


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