In the first of our series of interviews with ByK Retailers, we chat to Damien Lack from Flemington Cycles in Melbourne. Damien opened his store over 20 years ago and has seen a big increase in kids bike sales in the last few years, alongside the momentum of ByK Bikes growth.
"Our yearly average kids bikes sales revenue has doubled since stocking ByK Bikes, following the incredible growth of the brand itself." Why did you start stocking ByK Bikes?
I know Warren Key, owner of ByK Bikes, from years back and he brought the prototypes over to show me back in 2008. I liked the logic of the bike design and the colours were fresh so I agreed to give it a go. How many models do you stock now?
26. All models except the Road and Cyclocross Ranges What is your top selling model?
E-350, closely followed by the E-450. From the E-450 range, it is definitely the 450x3i - this would have to be our 2nd or 3rd top selling bike in the whole store at Christmas. Parents can really see the longevity and like the easy gears for kids to use. What is your top selling colour?
Ninja green in the E-350 was huge for a while but I think it’s been replaced by the red now. The Sky Blue has been popular too. Who is your typical ByK customer?
Both parents tend to come in at the same time so it seems to be very much a combined purchasing decision. But we think that mostly the Mum has done the research and made the buying decision on ByK. However, it is usually the Dad who does the final purchasing of the bike in store! That’s an assumption, not confirmed!
85-90% of 540 and 620 ByK model sales are return ByK customers. What do you find is the best selling point of the ByK Brand?
Biggest selling point is the weight. Secondly the longer wheelbase, the larger wheels and the saddle position - so the kids are pushing forward on the pedal, not down. This is a huge plus in the design. Also, the benefit of the E-450 being able to fit training wheels when a lot of other brands of this size bike can't is a huge selling point too. What would you say the rate of return is for a ByK customer coming back to upgrade to another ByK?
85-90% of larger ByK model sizes are ByK customers returning to buy the next size bike.
The 540x3i and 620x3i ranges sell well for us - models that other brands don't seem to have an alternative to. What is the best selling point of the larger models - 540 and 620 ranges - and what type of customer is likely to buy these bikes over another brand/model?
Wheelbase and stability. We generally sell more of the x3i in these ranges. It is a good range of bikes that other brands don't seem to have an alternative to. We find around 80% of our E-540 and E-620 customers come in knowing what they want and only 20% of the sales of this range would be to a customer who has been sold 'in store'. These sales are usually for the less confident kid. Do you think there are particular months where the bigger kids bikes sell more - such as 540 and 620 ranges? i.e. non-Christmas buying periods such as back to school, Easter holidays lead up, etc
Yes we certainly see an increase in the bigger bikes sales around April - probably coinciding with Easter holidays when kids who have been riding through the summer realise they have grown out of their bikes and waiting for Christmas is not an option!
April is definitely the time of year where sales of the bigger bike sizes increases. How have you managed to fit so many ByK bike models on your shop floor?
We have them in 4 different locations around the store! Smaller models hanging and larger models split into two groups on the floor. It seems everywhere you look, your eye catches a ByK lineup. ByK has grown into the broadest range of kids bikes available. Are you seeing the same growth?
Yes, our ByK sales have grown year on year in line with the growth of the brand and it's range. Sales of the larger models are still not as high as the base ranges of 250, 350 and 450 but it is growing. What percentage of your shop sales are kids bikes?
At Christmas time, 70-75% of all sales are attributed to kids bikes. Throughout the year, the average would be 30-40% of all sales attributed to kids bikes and this yearly average (non-Christmas period) amount has doubled since stocking ByK Bikes.
Our yearly average kids bikes sales revenue has doubled since stocking ByK Bikes, following the incredible growth of the brand itself. What percentage of new customers come in for ByK Bikes and end up being a 'family' customer whereby other members of the family end up buying bikes too?
It is hard to put a percentage figure on that. We do find that being a ByK stockist, we get a higher number of customers who have come further than our 'catchment' area - so people from far outer Melbourne and even other Melbourne suburbs that aren't serviced by a bike shop stocking ByK. They will make the effort to come to see us as they want a ByK over other brands. So in this case, our reach and our customer base increase is extended greatly. Do you find most ByK Customers arrive in the store knowing what they want, having already done their research? Is this typical for other kids bikes models/brands that you sell?
Yes, the typical ByK customer comes in knowing what they want. Around 80% of sales are researched before entering the store. I think the number of customers of other kids bikes brands doing their research first is close, but ByK certainly seems to have more pre-sale research from customers.
Our customer base has definitely widened because of ByK customers travelling further to see them at our store. The new Road and Cyclocross ranges have had some great reviews. Are you selling them?
We don’t stock those models. We just don't seem to have a market for kids road or cyclocross. We've had a competitor brand kids road bike on the shop floor for a few months but had very little interest in it. What is the most popular ByK accessory you sell?
We sell a lot of ByK Helmets, Locks and Water Bottles. We have a few customers who want a ByK Helmet but the current one-size is too small. I think having a larger size, just in the grey/black colour at least, as a single alternative, would sell well. Website: www.flemingtoncycles.com.au