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Trek to buy Austin's Bicycle Sport Shop

Published December 17, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas (BRAIN) — Hill Abell and Laura Agnew, the owners of Bicycle Sport Shop, have agreed to sell the business to Trek Bicycle. 

In business since 1983 and with five locations, Bicycle Sport Shop is one of the best-known retailers in the nation. Abell is active in industry groups including IMBA and has been a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame since 2007. 

Trek's purchase is at least the second in Texas this year: It bought Bicycles Plus in the Dallas area this fall. Earlier this year Trek also bought Goodale's, a long-standing New Hampshire retail chain with three stores.

Abell and Agnew announced the sale on Facebook Thursday.

"(A)ll good things must come to an end, including the very best rides, and the time has come for us to explore different paths in our life adventure," they wrote. 

They noted that the store has sold Trek bikes since 1988. "Trek has proven to be composed of people as dedicated to helping others discover the joy of cycling as we are, and we share their commitment to the bicycle as a tool for enhancing people’s lives. We are confident Trek will take what we've created and continue to build upon it—serving and supporting our community in even bigger and better ways while remaining dedicated to our core values of treating people like family and delivering outstanding hospitality."

Abell told the Austin American-Statesman that the business was in “pretty dire financial straits” a year ago because the cycling business was on a downswing.

“COVID changed that in an enormous way, and our business has exploded this year,” he told the Statesman. “It's been absolutely phenomenal, which allowed us to pay down all of our debt and to actually pay our people more. So it’s been a really good year for the biking industry if you’re a decent operator.”

The paper said the couple had been looking for an exit strategy that Trek provided.

For a 2013 BRAIN article on retailer retirement plans, Abell said the business was then about two years into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). In the article he said he didn't plan to retire until 2024, when he turns 65.

RELATED: Hill Abell: It was just the right opportunity. 

Abell and Agnew in a photo from the store blog.

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