This series is aimed to provide a Business Spotlight on local people and businesses in the East Contra Costa County community that are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their response to the virus. ECT will be interviewing 30-businesses in 30-days during April to provide both information and to promote local business.
In today’s business spotlight, Ron and Kelly Lopez, owner of The Bike Shop in Brentwood highlights how her business was shutdown for a few days after being originally deemed a non-essential business. However, after a clarification, bicycle shops were deemed essential.
This series aims to highlight how local businesses have been impacted and navigating through the virus.
What is The Bike Shop?
We are a full-service bicycle shop – sales of Bikes for all ages including road, mountain, hybrid, cruiser, BMX, kids bikes and many others Full selection of parts and accessories. We also fix wheelchairs and walkers too as part of our service offerings.
Why did you open your business?
Although we had a shop in the City of Antioch called Schwinn City, we moved our business to the City of Brentwood in September of 2018. We had been looking for a place for some time because no matter what we did in downtown Antioch, we were not seeing any growth. When we got here, people were so excited that we were closer to our client base and being in a shopping center, its been a bonus because its been like night and day as we have more visibility and are seeing more drop in business.
What do you love most about it:
We love supporting the local community with product and knowledge of bicycles while being able to get people on bikes and to enjoy cycling. It is pretty awesome to see a family come in for a child’s first bicycle because there is parents and sometimes both sets of grandparents at the shop and seeing the joy of the child on their first bicycle is priceless. Its also exciting to see people who haven’t been on bicycles in years hop back on, helping people get outside on the trails, working with bicycle clubs, it makes everyone happy.
How has the coronavirus impacted your business?
I think what we have found out is people are using bicycles as trying to find a way to get exercise or find some kind of normal. We are getting a lot of calls from people seeking advice because they want to stay active and figure out ways to exercise and are looking at options. Plus, parents need to get their kids outside and people are needing a distraction. People are wanting exercise and families are looking fro something they can do together.
People are choosing to bicycle to work who no longer wish to use public transportation or other means of transportation that is no longer available. Plus, it gets back to people wanting to get some exercise and gain some sanity by being outside.
It is too early to say if we are seeing more sales because we are heading into summer, so sales are consistent, but we are doing more repair work and tune ups. The caveat here is we are worried with the reduced incomes, people will be watching their money and sales could go down later in the year the longer we are dealing with the unknown. The other unknown, like every small business is dealing with, if everyone is buying now, what does later in the year look like?
How have you responded to coronavirus – how has your business changed.
At first, we were forced to close. Then we were able to reopen after the State issued its clarification on bike shops. It’s been a challenge to keep social distancing with a smaller floor space like ours so we are not allowing anyone into the shop. So currently we have curbside drop off and pick up.
A lot of people are calling before they head down—we tell them is we will bring it to you. If you can do research ahead of time, we will help you narrow it down. Everything we normally do, but no one is coming in.
We are helping people at the door and trying hard to get repairs completed in a timely manner – especially bikes with flats and families with children that need fun activities for their kids. We are also wiping down and sanitizing all the bicycles as people try them or look at them.
In California and in the Bay Area, we are lucky that we are in a commute county for people to bicycle to work. Its been busy ever since. All bicycle shops we are hearing from are doing similar things and busy with repairs and tune ups.
Any special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?
We provide lifetime maintenance on all new bikes purchased—as the bicycle gets used and out of adjustments, they can bring it in to get adjusted such as gears, breaks or loose parts unless they break it or wear it out.
We always try to throw on a cage and water bottle. First responders and seniors always get 10% off.
Business Spotlight Series
- #2: Revive Salon and Spa Closes, Now Waits Out Stay-At-Home Order
- # 1: Josh Young at Newfront Insurance Navigates Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]