Bike shop considers itself very fortunate

Bike shop considers itself very fortunate

< Back to Articles | Topics: HFX New Normal | Contributors: Mina Atia, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Intern, Communications Coordinator | Published: June 1, 2020

Cyclesmith is a big shop in size but small enough to react quickly during this challenging time

On top of shifting the way it did business 10 weeks ago, Cyclesmith has also changed how it operates a few times to safely serve customers and offer a safe working environment for the staff. The bike shop has been very fortunate to carry on its operations under COVID-19.

“The management team laid out a plan at the very beginning of how we can safely operate, and the staff has risen to the occasion,” says Cyclesmith Owner Andrew Feenstra. “The plan has changed a few times, but it was done very carefully and methodically that when each change was introduced, the staff stepped up once again.”

Feenstra is also proud of his staff for giving a new bicycle to a healthcare worker, who recently crashed her bike on her way to work. It was a stressful incident for the worker particularly when her job during the pandemic is taking care of seniors. From the moment she was handed the new bike, unbeknownst to her, she was overfilled with joy and happiness – so was the team at Cyclesmith.

“It has been amazing to be part of such a great team,” says Feenstra.

Before the pandemic, only five per cent of Cyclesmith’s sales came from the online store. This number has skyrocketed and increased to 55 per cent. Since the outbreak, they have been offering same-day curb side pickup, free delivery throughout the HRM and making sales from across the country; all of which contributed to the increase.

Feenstra was not only able to keep all his staff, but he also hired three new staff members.

“With our busy repair shop, we typically have seven full-time technicians. But due to social distancing, we have created two new repair areas in our store and have rented an off-site facility,” says Feenstra. “This allows us to maintain our productivity but still allows our staff a safe working environment.”

Even though it’s not currently open to the public, Cyclesmith still had plexiglass installed. The shop gets cleaned and high-touch areas are disinfected regularly. The staff wears gloves and face masks plus they social distance inside the shop. Anyone who enters the shop is provided with a hand sanitizer and advised to obey the six-feet rule.

Instead of being open to the public, the shop has bike repairs and major purchases by appointment only. “This controls the number of customers and staff on the sales floor to a safe quantity,” says Feenstra. “We are cleaning and disinfecting our bike-detail room and all repair bikes before our technicians touch them.”

“We have multiple door greeters, who triage repair bikes, gather curb-side pickup orders, or greet customers for their appointment. We also set up event tents outside during rainy days to keep those waiting dry.”

According to Feenstra, there’s a boom in the bike industry happening across North America. And Cyclesmith has the inventory, proper system and website in place to supply such high demands. Yet, the shop is small enough to pivot and react quickly to the ever-changing business environment.

“We also have been fortunate to be selling what I consider a product that transcends most other items,” says Feenstra. “You can use a bike for so many reasons: commuting, exercising, sport, fitness, mental health, family time, environment, etc.”

Contact Cyclesmith to hop on the bike boom and cycle your way into the new normal.

the bike shop has enough inventory and proper infrastructure to support business needs during the pandemic

< Back to Articles | Topics: HFX New Normal

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