Rutland Cycling MD David Middlemiss takes BikeBiz around some of the key features of the new purpose-built Peterborough store…
“We’ve worked hard to get our branding into the shop,” Middlemiss tells BikeBiz, picking up on point that if you’d been blindfolded and plonked in a bike shop, most of the time you’d have no idea which bike shop you were in. A subtle ‘R’ in the changing room is amongst the ways the Rutland name is placed in shop and in the minds of customers.
“It’s a softer message when you come in. There are lower priced bikes, kids bikes, hybrids…” Beyond that there is effectively a ‘MTB pro shop’ further in, a pro road shop in a shop, etc. That entrance includes a Frog wall installation in the kids bike section. Other noteworthy points are the service counter – “we’ve one workshop stand out front, then the rest are out of sight.”
“The ceiling upstairs is deliberately higher to give it a kind of ‘wow’ effect,” the MD tells BikeBiz. On the first floor Rutland has worked to keep sight lines across most of the level. The full road range is upstairs, as is the large women’s section. “Road is a big category for us and S-Works and Project One are key.” A fit studio is located at the back: “It’s the right environment, in the right area of the store.”
Alongside the road section upstairs is a dedicated womens area. It has developed ideas from Rutland’s Giant store “and pushed them further. We used to have a couple of womens bikes alongside mens bikes,” explains Middlemiss. “But now we find that having a separate area is paying off. The womens market is definitely getting more popular.” There’s a changing room too.
Taking inspiration from renowned independent service stations like Tebay, Rutland has developed POS material explaining the “Who we are” story behind the shop. Technically another example of branding in the store, it catches the eye and helps establish the family story behind the retailer and its identity too.
Coffee, not café:
It’s not a café, but there is a coffee area toward the rear of the shop, used for ride outs, events and seminars. That events timetable is spelled out on a ‘specials’ blackboard. Middlemiss concludes: “We’re looking at finding a space for e-bikes in the store. There are not lots of things to change – we’re looking at finding a space for e-bikes – but we’ll tweak things as we go.”