Inner Perth store Evolution Bikes is enjoying newfound independence, broadening its product range and finally pursuing its objective to focus on e-bikes.
Established as a My Ride store five years ago, the business underwent a rebrand and major change in focus three months ago.
Owner Anthony Hart said launching under the My Ride banner provided a great kickstart but in recent times he had been frustrated by restricted supplies, particularly when he could see what independent stores had been able to access.
“The rebrand was also a good chance to change our focus,” he said.
“We were kind of a suburban bike shop before, even though we’re quite centrally located. Now we’ve put a very heavy emphasis on e-bikes and because of our central location, about a 10-minute walk from the centre of Perth city, we’ve also gravitated towards a whole bunch of niche products.
“We’re getting Brompton in, we’re doing e-cargo bikes in a big way – and they’ve taken off.
“I always wanted it to have a big e-bike focus, even when we first set up. Now we’re independent, we’re able to do that.
“Plus the market is obviously moving that way. With rising fuel prices and interest rates, the cargo/utility bike market – bikes to replace cars – is a market we’re actively trying to capture. I don’t think it’s being very well supplied in Perth up until now.”
Evolution now has one of Perth’s largest e-bike ranges, including Tern, Urban Arrow, Moustache, Orbea, O2Feel, Yuba, Merida and Norco.
“We’re also about to do Benno,” he said.
“With 600m2 of floor space, we have room for a strong focus on e-bikes, while retaining our normal bike sales.
“We’ve picked up Cannondale, Orbea, Merida and Norco through Advance Traders – and they’ve all done really, really well.”
Evolution is also boosting the apparel side of the business.
“We haven’t done enough apparel sales and we’re certainly pushing that by adding to the range,” Anthony added.
“We’ve got a lot of Fox stuff in now. We’ve got Cycology clothing and it will be interesting to see how it goes.”
He said the rebrand coincided with an unusually wet winter and early spring for Perth.
“Perth people are so used to the sun, when it rains they don’t do anything outdoors or purchase bikes, so we’ve had a reasonably quiet couple of months in late July, August and September. But things are definitely picking up,” Anthony said.
“Demand for bike servicing is off the charts.
“We have two full-timers, plus myself, a casual who works almost full-time, a couple of other casuals, and I’ll be expanding the team in the future.”