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Application window opens Wednesday for America's Best Bike Shops award

Published March 19, 2019
2019 winners to be announced Oct. 1.

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — On Wednesday, the National Bicycle Dealers Association will open the application period for the 2019 America's Best Bike Shops program. Now in its seventh year, ABBS is a peer-evaluated award program that the NBDA says recognizes exemplary bicycle stores that meet the highest performance standards in the industry.

"The ABBS program is as much about the application process as it is the award," said Brandee Lepak, NBDA's president. "The highest-scoring shops earn the America's Best designation, but everyone who applies gains insight and learns ways to improve their business. And in keeping with the philosophy of leading retailers to excellence, this year our board decided that all applicants must become NBDA members."

Businesses that earn the distinction of America's Best, the most significant credential of its type for independent bicycle dealers, receive an official certificate, marketing signage for their shop, and digital marketing materials for their websites and social media.

The 2019 NBDA America's Best Bike Shop application consists of joining the NBDA (if not already a member), a mystery shopper evaluation, providing photos of shops' interiors and exteriors, and online submission of questions about their shop that help owners examine their businesses from a new perspective.

Lepak said that this year, the NBDA revised the application to include questions that will raise customer service standards in applicants' businesses and be used to train staff.

These questions, which derive from the association's Profitability Project (P2) program, augment previous application questions that gauge shop operations, staff knowledge, marketing excellence, community involvement, local and national bicycle advocacy, and shop appearance. Answers are evaluated by a selection committee and tabulated into a score.

Another key component of the ABBS evaluation is a report from a mystery shopper. As in previous years, applicants will start the ABBS application process by registering online and paying a fee for third-party secret shopper services for at least one of their store locations. The rate is $125 per requested location, with a 10 percent discount for three or more requested locations.

The 2019 application window closes July 31, and winners will be notified by email, as well as announced online and by news release, on Oct. 1. In the absence of the Interbike trade show this year, the NBDA is looking into options for a date and location to host a celebratory America's Best Bike Shops awards ceremony and reception.

"Our vision with ABBS, as with all our programs, is to lead bicycle retailers to excellence," said Lepak. "We look forward to recognizing America's Best Bike Shops this fall."

Interested specialty bicycle retailers may begin the NBDA ABBS application process by clicking here. For more information about the program, please visit the America’s Best Bike Shops section of the NBDA website, and for more information about the NBDA, visit


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