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Interbike Retailer Innovation Awards winner: Outback Bikes

Published October 4, 2018

Editor's note: This week we are featuring retailers who received Interbike Retailer Innovation Awards at the Interbike show last month. Staff from the National Bicycle Dealers Association, The Mann Group and Interbike selected 10 retailers from a pool of self-nominated businesses. Stores were asked to apply and share strategies and ideas that they have implemented and which have yielded positive results over the past 12 months. Interbike Innovation Award winners also were featured in the Sept. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Outback Bikes in Atlanta, Georgia, is owned by Peter Wicker and Kate Rockett. It's been in business 32 years. 

When Peter Wicker suffered a heart attack and stroke in June 2017, his health became the priority. That’s when his wife, Kate Rockett, and daughter, Josie Hickok, stepped up to the plate to not only take over operations but grow sales in a tough market.

Rockett said that initially her husband’s absence was felt, with sales plummeting and some of the worst months in the business’ 32-year history.

“We started doing clinics and classes and more group family rides not just enthusiast rides. And it took three to four months for us to become flat again. But this year we’re beating numbers from two years ago,” Rockett said.

She and her daughter began hiring more women, and they brought on another brand, Giant, which adds to the store’s mix that includes Specialized, Bianchi and a few other niche brands.

Hickock also built a new website and linked it to some brands for instant online purchases.

Wicker’s family forced him into retirement, but Rockett said she’s hopeful the business will continue to be a family owned and run, with their son Liam showing interest in going to mechanic school and working at the shop, and Hickok running the shop as store manager.

“We are truly fortunate for where we are currently,” she said. “We as a family and staff have increased sales over last year gradually each month in a flat economy overall.”

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Topics associated with this article: Interbike Awards

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