Halfords' Cycle Republic stores to offer cycle parking for commuters

Co-owner of a similar cycle parking service in London, 1994-2003, has some advice for Cycle Republic: open early, lose money and smile!
By Carlton Reid,

A select number of Cycle Republic stores are to soon start offering secure cycle parking for commuters. However, the operator of a cycle-parking service that operated in London for nearly ten years has said that although this is a "good thing to do" it will "lose money."

Phil Cavell and Julian Wall opened Bike Park of Covent Garden in 1994. “It was an idea ahead of its time,” Cavell later told BikeBiz. (The pair later opened Cycle Fit of Covent Garden, which is still going strong.)

The success of cycle parking "hinges on proximity to end destination," Cavell said yesterday. "Our research showed that 90 percent of our clients would walk a maximum of 600 yards from parking. And it loses money so there has to be a range of services and products that perfectly complement the parking customer – croissants, coffee, servicing, lights, workshop."

Cavell warns: "It is hard work – me and Jules used to open 7-11pm six days a week."

Cycle Republic's West End store

Cycle Republic has yet to state its opening hours for the proposed new service.

"I hope they can make it work," said Cavell. "But they will need smiley people front and centre at 7:00 am sharp."

Bike Park was sited just off Drury Lane, and as well as secure cycle parking it had showers, lockers, cycle servicing and cycle rental.

Cycle Republic's London stores (with a store also at Canary Wharf)

Cycle Republic is owned by Halfords and has 19 stores across the UK, including eight in London, where the indie-look-a-like concept was started. The latest stores open are in Derby and Canary Wharf. The London stores are in Battersea, Bloomsbury, Euston Tower, Fenchurch, Purley, Twickenham and the West End. There are also stores in Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Reading and Southampton.