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19 Jan 2021

The Greeting Card Association (GCA) have created a 2021 Valentines Day Toolkit, with the aim of helping retailers promote Valentine's Day in their stores and online.

18 Jan 2021

The Welsh Government has published a white paper setting out its plans for a Clean Air (Wales) Bill, to protect the health of the nation and ecosystems from pollutants in the atmosphere. ...

15 Jan 2021

Following today's Supreme Court ruling tens of thousands of small businesses will receive insurance payouts covering losses from the first national lockdown.

14 Jan 2021

The aim of Hubtiger is to help bike shops do better business by improving workshop efficiency, increasing revenue and enhancing the customer experience.

13 Jan 2021

The increase in the SUCB charge will not result in a cost increase for retailers.

13 Jan 2021

Can you answer these three quick questions to help us gauge how the cycling industry has fared throughout Christmas 2020 in comparison to Christmas 2019?

13 Jan 2021

Cash is a necessity millions couldn't live without, will you sign the voluntary cash pledge?

11 Jan 2021

Maybe* share how they will achieve their 2021 to improve insights using opportunities spotted in their own data

6 Jan 2021

Buyerdock, the new online platform to help buyers find exciting new shelf ready products, have now opened the platform to independent retailers.

6 Jan 2021

After installing a 24 hour free E bike charging system at their shop in Betws y Coed, Beics Betws decided to encourage other businesses to offer a similar service.

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Three local bike shops commended in Best Small Shops competition 2020!

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Independent bicycle retailers in Bradford, Ipswitch and York have all been commended in this year's search for the Best Small Shop of 2020!

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), of which the ACT is a member. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK's High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Maybe*, an engagement platform that helps make social media work for independent retailers. The winners were announced on the Indie Retail website page here.


Pennine CyclesPennine Cycles 

Pennine Cycles specialises in road bikes but sells all bikes including children's, hybrids and BMXs as well as cycling accessories and apparel. It was established in 1946 and is also the manufacturer of the Pennine frameset, a steel, hand-built road frame custom-made to each customer's individual specification. The shop also includes a cycling gallery with lots of memorabilia. Staff are on hand to provide advice and share their knowledge.  

"We are passionate about cycling," explains director Sandra Corcoran. "We want to ensure people have a bike which fits them and is safe, not just sell them what we have in stock. Many of our customers have become friends due to the cycling connection made in our shop. We have built an engaged community both on and offline of cycling fans."

In addition to the main award, Pennine Cycles was also commended for a special award to be given to the independent retailer that has demonstrated specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19. This award is sponsored by booost, the loyalty, gifting and promotions app.


Elmy CyclesElmy Cycles 

Independent bicycle retailer in Ipswich, Elmy Cycles, remained open from the first day of lockdown in March, adapting and changing its business as it went along.

Elmy Cycles built a complete ecommerce platform from scratch within two weeks of lockdown, listing all of its bikes for sale. It brought in a local independent builder to alter the shop layout so it could serve customers safely whilst maintaining social distancing and worked hard to engage and support the local community. It conducted over 200 free Cycle Safety Services free of charge for key workers and, using support from one of its suppliers, distributed over 100 free care packages of lights, helmet & safety jacket. The shop was recognised with a "Making a difference" Award from BBC Suffolk.

"Going forward, we are continuing to change our layout to enhance our click and collect experience and have created extra separated workshop areas and additional hand wash stations to ensure mechanics can work safely," explains owner Steve Grimwood.

"We now have an integrated workshop booking system online and will soon be able to allow customers to view the progress of their repair online. We are also working with the local authority to deliver a Road Safety Cycle Training event for new cyclists and are hoping to develop a ReCycling Scheme for used and second hand bikes for anyone struggling financially."


Recycle York 2Recycle York

Cycle shop in York, Recycle York, buys, sells and repairs bicycles as well as refurbishing bikes for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Recycle York, which is open seven days a week, can often complete repairs immediately thanks to its huge stock of second hand parts. It also custom builds and sells new bikes, sourced from five different suppliers. And, as its name implies, Recycle York is also hugely involved with waste reduction, which includes re-cycling more than 5000 bikes annually and donating many to local causes. It collects from waste sites and homes across North Yorkshire. The shop also works closely with many primary schools and the university, offering anything from information on cycle repairs and safety, to affordable bike sales.

In addition to the main award, Recycle York was also commended for the special award to be given to the independent retailer that has demonstrated specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19.

As it was considered a key service and allowed to stay open, in addition to putting in place all necessary procedures, it set up a delivery and collection service. It also moved its repair centre from the front of the shop to a different area with a separate entrance at the side of the building, meaning anyone bringing a bike for repair did not have to enter the premises. The shop offered to repair bikes for NHS workers for free and gave out 162 bikes to those health workers who vitally needed transport to get to work.

Read more about the Best Small Shops competition and view all commended and winning shops here.

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