Bicycle retail salaries: How low is too low?

yournamehereCustomer service is a great tool for building long-time relationships with bike shop customers.

But good customer service requires qualified and motivated people on staff, and this is not easy to achieve or maintain. Staff issues are frequently cited as one of the most vexing challenges for retail bike stores. Why? One reason is that it’s hard to recruit the talented people you need when offering the relatively low wages available in bike retail.

Bicycle mechanic salaries made the news earlier this month when Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported on a blog post that had gone semi-viral (by bicycle industry standards anyway), with 197,000 views as of this writing.

Donny Perry, a global development manager at Specialized, posted a presentation in mid-February (http://www.slideshare.net/donnyperry/bike-mechanic-salaries) that called out the sub-standard average pay offered to bicycle mechanics.

He noted that the average bicycle mechanic earns just $22,337 per year (according to salary.com). This compares to $23,013 for high school dropouts, $25,188 for janitors, and $29,962 for gardeners. The average wage for a full-time worker in the United States is $40,584, according to the U.S. Census, Continue reading “Bicycle retail salaries: How low is too low?”

Webrooming: A trend that may help brick-and-mortar stores

searchWhen a person walks into a local bike shop and uses their smartphone to compare prices with on-line retailers (AKA showrooming), some store owners take offense.

After all, they have made a sizeable investment in the store, people and inventory. When consumers use that investment against them to compare and buy elsewhere, it doesn’t seem to be within the limits of fair play.

But showrooming may not be the biggest driver of Internet shopping trends versus brick-and-mortar. A new study from RR Donnelly suggests that the most significant trend may be its opposite: webrooming.

Webrooming is when a customer starts their shopping on-line to gather information, but uses that information to visit a local brick-and-mortar store to buy.

Donnelly reported that during the 2012 holiday season, showrooming was up 400% over 2011. But in 2013, a Harris Poll Continue reading “Webrooming: A trend that may help brick-and-mortar stores”