Sigma Sports on opening its new e-bike store in Kingston – Features

Rebecca Morley visits last year’s top omnichannel retailer Sigma Sports’ new e-bike store

This piece first appeared in the June issue of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

“Without exception, all of our suppliers were very enthusiastic,” said Ed Hole, head of retail at Sigma Sports, sitting in a desk at the retailer’s new e-bike store in south-west London. “They thought it was a great idea and we were all very keen to have their bikes in the store. It all started with Ian [Whittingham]our CEO, he realized that this would be the category that would offer the most opportunities.

Sigma opened its new flagship e-bike store, located on Thames Street in the Old Market Square, Kingston, in April and aims to provide a premium experience with one-on-one e-bike sales consultations, in stocking bikes from Specialized, Trek, Orbea, Bianchi and Brompton, in the disciplines of commuting, mountain biking, gravel and road.

“I think the interesting part for us was starting to do some research and seeing the customer base and realizing that we needed a slightly different look and feel for the store,” retail environments producer Kerry added. McCallum, “to make it appealing to that market, rather than using the plan we had for our other stores.”

People, products, environment
There are three key elements to the new store, Hole continued: the people, the products and the environment. “We really were always very selective about who we wanted to work with here. We want people who are engaging and friendly, people we see as being able to relate to people.

“That’s actually the biggest challenge of this whole project, recruitment. It’s now settled on its own, we very recently reached the number of full-time and part-time employees we need. We feel we have a great team now. It is a priority for us to ensure that we hire the right people to provide customer service. We want to exceed customer expectations.

“And then the products – we work with what we consider to be the best brands. There are mainstream brands that we have worked with for a very long time, but there are also niche brands. McCallum added: “It’s also about what products we choose from those brands, if we get a lot of feedback on something we’ll give that feedback to the supplier or maybe we won’t have that product anymore because we want our customers to be satisfied.”

Along with the store itself — what Sigma Sports considers an upscale store — it’s a place where customers can walk in and feel very comfortable, Hole explained. “Essentially, we bring these three things together: great people, great products, and a great environment. We like to think we do it as well as anyone else. We are always looking for how we can improve.

Customer reaction
Sigma Sports also has stores in Hampton Wick, London, and Oakham, the latter opening in 2020. The Hampton Wick store offers bike sales consultations and bike fittings, and is better known as a destination for cyclists. “At Hampton Wick, you don’t see a lot of people coming in who are just there by chance,” Hole said. “Usually it’s people who already cycle or who already cycle or triathlon.”

The new flagship e-bike store in Kingston, however, benefits from the bustle of Kingston’s Old Market Square, a place where customers can drop by and peek inside, making it ideal for cyclists who are just starting out and want to learn more. .

“We really have all the ingredients together, we have the service and because we’re an existing retailer with those relationships, and with those fine-tuned processes to do with the maintenance and the workshop, and all the things that revolve around a store, we’re a reliable brand to go to,” McCallum said. “The environment we’ve created stands out from other bike stores, and we did that on purpose. bike shops, but all kinds of shops and experiences.

The store is immediately welcoming to anyone who walks through its doors, with bikes from a variety of disciplines on offer including commute, leisure, cargo, folding options, road, gravel and mountain. It also offers one-on-one consultations on selling e-bikes and the ability for customers to test a wide range of models through its demo fleet.

“We’re going to sell more products online because we’re a UK-wide business,” Hole said. “Our catchment area for a store obviously has a certain limit, but we have people who will travel a certain distance to come to our stores. With the bikes, we are looking to improve the process of buying bikes in store and in line, that’s what we’re doing right now and that’s what we’ll be doing forever. Obviously, they have their own advantages over each other. For me, I think there’s a lot of people who still see the benefits of being able to come and still see things in the flesh. Sometimes what you see online doesn’t look the same when it’s in front of you.”

Sigma Sports’ stores are also designed to let customers look at products they might not have considered buying, Hole said. “I think the most important thing about e-bikes is that they’re still in their infancy. I think there are a lot of people asking, ‘What’s the point? This is something you can still practice on, you still have to pedal, they only assist you up to a point.

“But you don’t really get an e-bike until the first 50 meters you’ve done. It’s quite an experience, when you’re only used to a pedal bike. Demo bikes are a really essential part of what we do here, more so than our other two stores.

“It’s a really exciting time for the company,” added Hole. “Opening this store is obviously exciting, we intend to expand our other two stores for the road and gravel market, and we want to look at growing mountain biking at all levels. It really comes down to the experience we provide to the customer, online and in-store. It is always a priority for us.

Sigma Sports Electric review – May 9
I have been a Sigma customer for five years and recently, although they are no longer my local store, I purchased a new e-bike from the new store in Kingston. I had a fantastic experience picking it up and learning to use it from the salesman Jack who was both thorough in explaining the bike and answering all my questions.

Never before have I had such a great experience buying a bike and it made the four hour round trip to the store to pick up the bike totally worth it for me. I therefore highly recommend Jack and his colleagues at Sigma for their in-depth knowledge of the products they sell and their efforts to ensure customer satisfaction.

Sigma Sports Electric review – May 16
I have just taken the plunge and invested in an e-bike having for many years cycled a Pashley and a Brompton to work. I’m moving to the countryside and weighing the options for getting to the train station in the morning. This is where Jack at Sigma e-bikes comes in. He helped me make the decision to go with the Specialized Vado and it’s a decision I won’t regret, I’m sure.

Jack spent a good hour of the day showing me what would and wouldn’t work for me to the point that he secured my custom. He was also very helpful in preparing the bike for difficult dates, which was beyond expectation! Picked up the bike today and spent an extra hour being kept up to date with everything from maintenance to using the mission control app.

Everything about Sigma e-bikes has been a great experience for me and has made buying an expensive bike a joy. Kudos to Sigma e-bikes and Jack in particular. Thanks a lot. Coming home was great!

Maria R. Newman