Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op
The growing reach of this High Street Chain – Britain’s longest-established co-operatively-run bicycle business – saw it open its sixth branch in March 2010 in Sheffield. Aptly enough the new 8,000 sq ft premises were most recently occupied by a car dealership, a move embodying Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op’s slogan: ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Motorised’. The firm has 110 full co-op members, with dozens more staff serving their one-year ‘apprenticeships’.
The UK’s largest retailer of bicycles is a formidable, but indisputable, title that Halfords has owned for some time. Sporting over 400 stores, the retailer has worked hard on improving customer service in-store and, with marketing hitting national TV and newspapers, the firm is never far from the public eye – making it one of the most public faces of the UK industry.
Combining expert knowledge and high levels of customer service, Cycles UK strives to tailor its offering to customers’ needs. According to the firm, fostering a non-jargonistic but knowledgeable environment has been the secret of its continued growth over the course of the last twelve months.
Evans Cycle has been evolving its already strong offering over the past 12 months and shows no sign of slowing. With a strong online offering, the chain is also opening new stores and has extended its opening hours to suit the needs of its customers. Running in-store maintenance courses and cycle training initiatives, the firm has also overhauled its IT systems to provide better information and processes to its staff, providing a better experience to its customers in turn.
The Cycle Surgery chain has gone from strength-to-strength, this year opening its 20th store (its 11th stand-alone outlet in London). The latest shop in the growing empire is placed strategically near the West End’s Westfield shopping centre and covers 2,500 sq feet.
Established over a quarter of a century ago by four brothers in Preston (apparently building the first shop with their own hands), Leisure Lakes has grown into a seven store-strong chain with a dedicated mail order centre.
Two generations of the Noy family now work throughout the company, helping Leisure Lakes retain that family feel. The firm offers a VIP club for customers, as well as employing Cytech trained mechanics.