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Houston retailer relocates, purchases larger space

Published November 27, 2018

HOUSTON (BRAIN) — Retailer Blue Line Bicycle Lab has moved out of its original Houston location, which it had leased for more than a decade, and has purchased a new space that more than doubles its previous footprint.


"It gives us a bigger, nicer service area and will allow us to carry close to double the inventory of the old store," said Fred Zapalac, who co-owns Blue Line with his brother, David.

Blue Line opened in 2005 in a storefront in the Houston Heights area that the brothers discovered during a road ride. They opened a second location six years ago that still operates in Houston's East End.

The brothers purchased the new Heights building, a former photography studio with high ceilings and 7,500 square feet of retail space, in July. It opened on Halloween following an extensive renovation that included removing tons of plaster lath and concrete, pouring a new slab inside, and installing new retail glass on the front of the building.

"We must have taken 20 Dumpsters of broken concrete out of here," Zapalac said.

Blue Line carries Jamis, Kona, Norco, Pivot, Pashley, Linus, Sunday and Tribe. It also brought on Cervélo just before the move. Zapalac credits the brand mix with enabling Blue Line to grow and become a property owner with the new location.

"We don't have any of the major Big Four brands, which I believe has allowed us to be more flexible and profitable over the years. Having midtier brands like Jamis and Kona — we've been loyal to them and they've been really loyal to us. Those companies really helped us be in a position where we can buy our own building and keep profiting and growing," he said.

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