Will the bike shop exist around the corner?

fietswinkelBike Shops in ten years still in the towns and villages ?

With the rise of internet shopping, local retailers have in many places in the Netherlands increasingly difficult.
So do the bike shops.
You’d think consumers want to know what they purchase for product and whether the product fits with them.
Especially with the purchase of a bicycle. The bicycle is big enough, the position is okay, and how does the bike react on all surfaces?

And yet, more and more bicycles are purchased through online stores such as fietsenwinkel.nl, stella.nl or matrabike.nl
Obviously, because many of these online stores provide the same cycle as the local bicycle shops.
And often even cheaper than the local bike shop.
Because they buy large, with many renowned bicycle manufacturers, they can haggle substantial discounts, rebates, which is not possible for many small bike shops.
And big bike builders like to sell. The more bikes they sell the better.
The faster they can ship to the store , the better.

Now there is the question. Will this cause problems?

fietswinkelBike shops now have often customers who shop around for a new bike, take a test drive and, of course, ask for the price.
And then look at the shop on their smartphone, for whatever amount, the same cycle is offered on the Internet.
Bike shops consist of repairing bicycles, and above all, of course, the sale of new and used bicycles.
The latter is becoming increasingly difficult as they can not compete with the big Internet shops.
Moreover, new entrants, which does not offer the bikes through the local bike shop, but itself sell the products.
Look at Stella.nl and Amslod.nl
Complete with its own shop, central Netherlands. An experience center for cycling.
Even com to the customer at the door with samples to test if it suits the customer, and mechanics who goes along to customers by appointment to repair the bike.

Who is guilty of this?

fietswinkelAre the internet stores to be guilty, by being so competitive that small retailers are struggling?
Or have bike factories like Sparta , Batavus and Gazelle also contributed to this, when selling their bicycles.
And what have the local bicycle shop done or not done to counter this competition war?

There is something to say of all these three parties.

Of course, the internet giants like Fietsenwinkel.nl are partly responsible for this problem.
But product sales is simply competing with other parties. Regardless of which party.
Also bicycle factories have contributed to this. By allowing unequal battle between the big sellers through online stores and local bike dealer.
And bicycle shops have been sleeping, and not sufficiently responded to when it all began.

But what about the consumer?

Because consumers have contributed to this. More than the three above mentioned parties.
Because consumers are increasingly buying through online stores, local shopkeeper loses more and more.
And that’s not just for bike shops. But also for fashion, books, electronics and so on.
Good for the wallet. Understandable, certainly since the crisis of recent years.
But there will also be a turning point in the future.

What if your bike breaks down and needs to be repaired? Is it always convenient that you sometimes have to wait several days before the bike is being repaired?
Especially if it is a small repair.
And many local bike dealers, do not repair bicycles that are sold at an online store.
In addition, if it is a warranty issue, then they can also often not repair the bicycle.
Something that consumers do not understand this when a bicycle retailer is trying to explain this.

And if the local bike shops are gone, consumers should perhaps drive many distances, to try out several bikes. And that over several days.

How the bike shop remains competitive?

Many bike shops ask themselves.
Bike shops can join higher-level buyers. Think Bike Total or Profile.
That way they still somewhat able to do something about the prices of the products they sell.
But often this is more for related items such as raincoats, bags and extras for the bike.

Some bike shops have also started service at home.
repair on the spot, or pick up the bike and bring it back for a repair.
Or start side activities for customer loyalty. A coffee corner in the store.
Workshops in the field of bicycles, and sponsorship from local cycling clubs.
And plenty to be in the media, such as Bikes and co

But whether all this is enough for the future? Time will tell.