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PROFILE: Chester's Eureka Cycle Sports - BikeBiz

PROFILE: Chester's Eureka Cycle Sports

Serving the road and triathlon markets and quite possibly housing the oldest cycle café in the UK…
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How long has Eureka been in the triathlon business?
Eureka has now been in business for six years. All members of the Eureka team have a true passion for cycling; riding on road, off road and competing in triathlons across the country, and this passion is relayed both online and in store at Eureka.

Eureka covers the triathlon and cycle markets. Does the business favour one sector over the other?
At Eureka, we have a wide range of customers, visiting our store for equipment across a variety of sectors. The stores main focus is road bikes, with around 60 per cent of business coming from this sector, followed closely by triathlon and MTBs and equipment.

How popular is tri in Chester?
The triathlon scene is extremely popular in the area, with countless cycling clubs and some very large tri clubs plus numerous events taking place throughout the year. Eureka sponsors the largest triathlon in the area; the Deva triathlon, which 1,200 participants. Eureka also supports local athletes, sponsoring elite junior triathlete Georgia Taylor-Brown who won the European duathlon championship, took a bronze medal in the youth Olympics and is the UK female junior triathlete of the year.

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Are there any specific challenges being a tri stockist?
I think to be successful in the tri market you have the knowledge to be able to talk with customers across all three disciplines, fortunately we have been competing in triathlons since the early 1990s and have the expertise to be able to do this. Other challenges include keeping up to date with the latest innovations and stocking a decent range of equipment to cover all budgets. To date we have focused on the mid to top-end but there are lots of customers new to tri that want to keep the cost down as they often have no or little equipment.

How’s business generally? Did you see growth in the last year?
Despite the poor climate, business has steadily increased for Eureka in the past 12 months. Eureka grew last year by approx 20 per cent and we have seen steady growth year in since our launch. The launch of the new website in 2012 has provided another avenue for our customers to purchase from Eureka, and the website has definitely had a positive effect on the business in the past year.

And the cafe is the oldest part of the business? How does that fit in with the retail element? And what is the most popular drink in the cafe?
Impressively, the Eureka café is the oldest cyclist’s café in the UK, and has been a regular stopping place for cyclists since 1929. Ninety per cent of the Cafe’s customers are cyclists, and Eureka sells a range of accessories and spares from the café itself. The cafe is a great place for cyclists and triathletes to looking to meet with clubs and like-minded people.

The most popular drink at the cafe is still tea but our espresso coffees are catching up fast, perfect for a quick energy boost, and the cyclists also love our home made cakes and soups. Eureka Cafe also makes recovery drinks to order which are quite popular during the winter when longer club runs take place.

Each year Eureka also organise a two cycle rides aimed mainly at our customers; a friendly 50 mile bimble around the Cheshire lanes and a more challenging 85 mile hilly ride in North Wales to celebrate the anniversary of the Café opening in 1929. Look out for details on www.eurekacyclistscafe.co.uk or our Twitter and Facebook.

What are the plans for the future of Eureka Cycle Sports?
The future’s looking bright for Eureka. The workshop is expanding this year, as one of the most popular and important elements to the business. That will also create more retail space in the shop, which will allow room for more products in store. Our online store is also a main priority in 2013, with a number of changes set in place for the website and more products set to be added online.

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