Waterloo, Wisconsin, USA
Trek Bicycle’s buying spree of bike stores in the US has continued with the recent purchase of 13 outlets in Baltimore and Washington DC.
The founder of the Spokes Etc chain of stores in Washington DC, Jim Strang, last week confirmed the sale of his business and its six locations.
The sale was the subject of industry speculation for several weeks and came just weeks after Trek bought Race Pace Bicycles, which has seven stores in Baltimore.
For decades, Spokes Etc. was one of two leading independently-owned retail chains in the greater Washington DC-Arlington metropolitan area.
The other stand-out, Revolution Cycles, was previously owned for many years by Mike Hammanwright but was acquired by Trek in 2017 – one of Trek’s first purchases of a major independent bike distributor.
Revolution Cycles had previously been very strongly aligned with Trek and included Trek Concept Stores within the group.
However, Spokes Etc. has traditionally been much more diversified across a range of major brands, including Specialized and Giant.
In 2021, Trek bought 13 stores from the US’s largest Trek dealer, Mike Olson, purchasing the six-store Bike Gallery chain in the Portland area, the six Trek Bicycle Superstores in San Diego and New Mexico, and a Nytro Multisport store in California.
In April, Trek snapped up Pennsylvania’s Genesis Bicycles, a single store founded four decades ago.
During 2017, USA Trek bought the Revolution Cycles chain of four stores, 16 branches of Philadelphia’s Bike Line, and Sacramento shop City Bicycle Works, adding to an already growing portfolio of Trek-owned stores.
In the UK, Trek owns stores in Poole, Battersea, Manchester, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Bath, Wilmslow and Shrewsbury.
Australian Outlets Increase to 31
The number of stores owned by Trek in Australia jumped to 31 late last year, when it brought Turramurra Cycles in Sydney and Simple Cycles, which has two stores in Wollongong and Shellharbour.
It’s five years since Trek bought its first store in Australia and according to Trek Bicycle’s Manager of Australian Retail, George Bunt, the process has given the company valuable insight to the Australian market.
“The biggest benefit has been the insight from being in retail ourselves and therefore knowing how to support our large independent businesses,” George said.
“We now do a lot of things based on that experience.”
Prior to the recent purchases, Trek owned stores in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.
Around one quarter of those outlets were new locations, where there were no existing dealers in the area.
“We would always prefer to deal with an independent dealer but if there’s no existing operator, we look to do it ourselves,” he said.
“For a number of the stores we’ve purchased, it provided an exit strategy for owners who have been in the industry for a long time.”