Richardson Bike Mart Expands by Embracing the Future
In 1962 Mike Hall opened several ‘Mike Hall Bike Marts, in the Dallas area. In 1980, Schwinn representative Jim Hoyt bought the Richardson store, receiving permission from Hall to retain “Bike Mart” in its name. Thus was born Richardson Bike Mart (RBM). Since then, Mike Hall Bike Mart has gone out of business, while RBM has expanded. In 2012 RMB began to switch hands when Woody Smith started a buyout from Jim Hoyt. Today, Smith is the President and Owner of Richardson Bike Mart, which employs over 100 people, ages 16 to 70.
Smith says bicycle retailers were among the last to remain anti-online. RBM, however, has embraced the internet, which constitutes about 2% of sales, where as it is only 0.5-1% of sales for most bicycle retailers. RBM will sell anything on the website, but it will not ship everything. Smith says customers need to see the colors, touch and feel the bike, and practice riding it. In other words, “You need to try a bike on, and we are the tailor.”
RBM believes in “high-tech bikes and old-fashioned service,” and still relies on word-of-mouth and community involvement. However, Smith says it’s website receives 4,500-to-5,000 hits per week. RBM provides customers with an e-club and an e-class, and 85-percent of RBM customers provide online information to get the company newsletter. That is 42,000 organic email customers.
RBM has also embraced technology by using A/V monitors throughout it’s stores to keep customers up-to-date on the latest products and technology.
“I’m a continuous improvement person. All the staff knows I’m approachable.” Smith said.
He keeps up-to-date by listening to customers and employees, and by going to seminars to keep up with the latest in the industry.
“I’m happy, but never satisfied. I want to go from good to great,” Smith said.
This attitude led RBM to provide a mobile shop that brings it’s services to customers who are unable to bring in bikes. Smith also plans to build another brick-and-mortar store in McKinney by the end of May 2018. RBM has had a long history in the Dallas area, and its continued growth shows that it will continue to have a strong future.
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