Chad DeGroot: I did change my hours to two a day and my staff started working after close or after hours only. I was the face of the 2 hour day, checking in bikes, so many bikes. One day 26x bikes were checked in for repairs. My staff was uncomfortable to work while open so after hours repairs sometimes till 2 in the morning. Wild system but very much worked out as other shops were backed up on repairs for 30 days. We could turn repairs around in a day or two.
Now, being in this situation for many months, how did you manage to keep your business rolling?
Chad DeGroot: I thought ahead by ordering an insane amount of tubes in all sizes, tires, and basic repair products like shifters and cables. Also tons of gloves and masks and hospital grade cleaning supplies. Huge factor was knowing that bikes are essential. People need to get exercise, get outside, and be active.
The supply chain has also suffered. Has it been a challenge getting the bikes/product in stock that you needed for your customers?
Chad DeGroot: At first we sold out, then ordered a little bit, then orders were getting very huge. Bikes have been a very huge item to keep in stock. We work with distros and when other shops can't pay or back out of their orders we will take them. Customers still complain but after explaining this is all you can get, we sold any color. People understood to not be picky and buy what would keep them rolling. Also buy a few extra items like tubes to have just in case.
Have you been able to keep your shop open all this time?
Chad DeGroot: YES and very thankful for this. We are only open 3-4 hours a day and do appointments for customers who have a schedule that won't work with ours.
If so, what are measures you had to take to keep the door open?
Chad DeGroot: At first we did one person in the shop at a time which created a line. Then we did 3x people at a time. Masks are required or we will provide. Clean the surfaces about 20 times a day and spray the door knob after each customer. Hand sanitizer and washing hands after each transaction. I did for a month have a 6 foot barrier of boxes from the customer to me. Having a closer relationship to the good bmx companies did help also for when new products or shipments arrive to make sure and get products.
Have internet sales/mail-order sales made up for loss of shop sales?
Chad DeGroot: We don't focus much on this but it has been a very low percent of sales. Very time consuming to load pics and get items listed. So we do post up products here and there and stress to call or contact us. We really should focus on this more.
During the pandemic has it been difficult to organize local events to support the local scene and get the customers in the shop?
Chad DeGroot: We will not do gatherings or even support events with gatherings. This is tough to say but we have to do our part to try and keep people from gathering in groups. High hopes to have events and anniversaries and more with locals in the near future and specially huge events like Swampfest.
What are the plans for the shop for the coming months?
Chad DeGroot: Keep the same hours, try and keep up on products, and keep a positive vibe. We did start a go fund me to improve the local skate park with help from Nate Wessel and donated time and materials. This is becoming a very rewarding, educational, and interesting project. Here is the link.
Chad DeGroot: First off to everyone who supports my shop, has stopped by, has asked how we are doing, those who donated to the additions at the skatepark, anyone who rides a bike, and specially those who are doing their part to wear masks and support new rules. Huge thanks to my staff Brian, Jona, and Deener for countless hours and patience working on some great bikes but a ton of turds. Thank you.
Your website: www.mrbikesnboards.com
250 S. Ronald Reagan BLVD #118
Longwood, Fl 32750, USA.