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Trek buys Mike Olson's retail empire, with stores in California, Oregon and New Mexico

Published January 26, 2021

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Several industry sources have confirmed that Trek has agreed to buy at least a dozen of Mike Olson's bike shops, including the six Trek Bicycle Superstore locations in the San Diego area and in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one Nytro Multisport store in Encinitas, California, and the six-store Bike Gallery chain in the Portland area. Olson is believed to be Trek's largest retailer and one of the largest bike retailers in the country.

Olson told BRAIN Tuesday afternoon that he couldn't confirm or talk about any sale. However, multiple sources confirm that Olson told store employees about the sale on Monday. Watch for a more in-depth article on the sale later this week on BRAIN. 

Olson, who was a member of BRAIN's State of Retail panel in 2020, bought the two original Trek Bicycle Superstores in 2003, a year after Trek opened them as concept stores. Olson has a licensing agreement with Trek to use the name, which also sell Cannondale and other bike brands. He bought the Bike Gallery chain from Jay Graves in 2012. Bike Gallery primarily sells Trek bikes, although it also carries Haro, Orbea and Co-Motion. 

In an interview with BRAIN's Ray Keener in January 2019, Olson said 2018 was his business's highest-grossing year ever.

Asked to explain the good year, Olson told Keener, "I wish it was as easy as one thing, but it’s not. It’s a number of areas. E-bikes has been the biggest. We are excited to see how big this can get. Other than that it is mostly better execution by our team with the flat traffic. We have really focused on anchoring a high price in the customer's mind, increasing the add-on dollars we sell with each bike, and conversion percentage. Last year we took the average add-on dollars per bike from $90 to $160."

In the same interview, Olson said that he leased all his store locations. "It ties up a lot of money to own them, and I’ve used that money to open more locations instead. One other advantage of leasing is that we have multiple times been able to move easily to a better location," he explained.

A Trek spokesman did not respond to emails from BRAIN seeking comment. This year so far, Trek has bought the Goodale's chain, with four stores in New Hampshire; Bicycle Sport Shop, with four stores in Austin, Texas; and The Bicycles Plus chain, with four stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. BRAIN has confirmed that Trek is in negotiations to buy at least two other multi-store chains this winter. 

Related: Taking the Trexit ramp

Mike Olson
Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments

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