The BikeBiz Awards is returning for its 12th iteration this year in a digital format, as we all continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding live events and COVID-19. But while the world has undoubtedly changed since 2019’s ceremony at The Cycle Show, it still remains more vital than ever to recognise and celebrate the hard work of professionals and companies within the cycling sector.
As we look ahead to 2020’s edition, BikeBiz caught up with last year’s winners to find out what they’ve been up to since. Today, we hear from Sigma Sports, winner of Best Omnichannel Retailer 2019.
How has 2020 been for Sigma Sports?
It has been a rollercoaster year going from many unknowns, the challenge of temporarily closing our flagship store, to the positives of strong trade and focusing on new ways of serving customers. We have completed a number of big projects and initiatives that have elevated our services and offering. Early in the year, we refitted our flagship store in Hampton Wick to improve customers’ in-store shopping experience with us. With the current restrictions in place, we have continued to offer customers dedicated store appointments, which has proven to be a real success. The launch of our new e-commerce site followed in the spring to benefit user-friendliness and introduce live chat and video consultations with our staff.
Late summer saw the soft launch of Universal Colours, a new cycling clothing brand born out of Sigma Sports with its own, dedicated team. We opened a new store in Oakham which has been a very exciting step in our company’s journey. We continue to adapt and evolve and this year has been like no other.
What trends have you observed in recent months?
There has been a huge demand for bikes. What has been interesting to witness is this demand has predominantly come from people aged between 25-35. Alongside this new demand from a younger audience, we have also seen many more women coming into the sport. Both these signs are incredibly encouraging. Turbo trainer sales have continued to be in high demand since the huge peak during lockdown. We also stock run gear at Sigma Sports and this too has seen a marked uptick – there’s certainly a broader health trend. Overall, the industry simply continues to boom.
What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year?
We always keep pushing to offer customers the best shopping experience and service, both in-store and online. To be recognised for our continued efforts as Best Omnichannel Retailer is something we take pride in and would not have been possible to achieve without our passionate and dedicated staff.
Why is it so important to celebrate and recognise companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time?
It has been a very busy year across the whole industry and it is important to take a step back to reflect on what has been achieved. We have been fortunate while other industries have struggled and yet we all had to adapt to new ways of serving customers. To see so many people take up cycling makes all the challenges and hard work put in all the more worth it.
The Awards is returning for its 12th iteration this year in a digital format, forgoing a live event to ensure those working tirelessly to keep the sector’s wheels turning can receive the recognition they deserve while ensuring the safety of all involved.
The winners will be revealed online on Friday 11th December. For sponsorship and promotion opportunities, please contact Richard Setters.
Tannus Tyres will act as the headline sponsor for this year’s BikeBiz Awards, and will also sponsor the Innovation from a Newcomer Award. Pure Electric is sponsoring the Cycle Advocacy Award for 2020.