Bikes From CB2
CB2, the younger, hipper sister store of Crate and Barrel, is the latest housewares and furniture retailer to jump into the bicycle business.
Their first two bikes are ‘omafiets’ style and were created in collaboration with Republic bikes (the same company that Urban Outfitters teamed up with for their bike offerings last year). I kind of like the way these new CB2 bikes look with the custom bright yellow (at least when they are new) Kenda balloon tires and red accents on a traditional glossy grey frame. The Abuela (women’s model) features a skirt guard and front and rear racks, while the men’s Abuelo model has only a rear rack. Both bikes include bells, fenders, kickstands, and 3-speed Nexus drivetrains with chainguards.
I am curious to hear what some of you think of fashion and home décor retailers dabbling in the bike business like this.
While these developments aren't likely to put a dent in IBD sales anytime soon, it could be a indicator of how the market could change with all of the work being done to integrate bicycles into daily life.
From a marketing standpoint it raises the bar for bicycle retailers. CB2 delivers customers a premium retail experience along with their bicycles. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If they walk into a CB2 and then across the street into your store, what will their first impression be? Does the fact that you are experts in your field offset any shortcomings you have in your retail experience?
Keep on your toes. The market is always changing. I encourage you to look to these non-specialty retailers for ideas and inspiration about what customers are looking for from a shopping experience.