Most retail stores that are manufacturer-concept stores are focused on doing one thing – selling the manufacturer’s family of brands. However, the Trek Bicycle Store in Schererville, Indiana (Chicago-land) integrated ElliptiGO into their store experience and sold over $15,000 worth of ElliptiGO bikes in the last 12 months, proving that it is possible to have success with an alternative brand.
General Manager Paul Jellema answers questions about his strategy and shares his tips for making sales, saying, “Ultimately, the ElliptiGO bikes sell themselves as long as you dedicate some resources to them, such as training and floor space.”
Has ElliptiGO met, not met, or exceeded your expectations? We’ve sold more than expected. We initially brought ElliptiGO in as sort of a trial/test run and honestly we weren’t expecting much. But once staff got comfortable and familiar with the product, and we dedicated some floor space (this was important), we really got the ball rolling. Now we’ve sold more than we ever thought we would have. We thought three to four per year would be good. Instead, we’ve been selling about one per month.
I’m sure you had skeptics on your staff at first. Any advice for a manager/owner to convert or talk to staff who are uninterested or unconvinced in the product when it first arrives? The biggest thing we found that helped was actually displaying the ElliptiGO bikes on the floor – this was key. At first, I had just put one on the kickstand and kept one in the back, and it looked like a solo product, a loner, not good. I changed to having them on a display rack with dedicated space on the sales floor. Once displayed, we had people asking about them, and once that happened, staff self-motivated themselves to learn and test it out, which created a cycle. None of my staff learned about it and thought ‘oh, this is stupid.’ Instead, they realized that it’s a viable option for a lot of people and that people are actually interested in what it is. The product is good, and that’s important to staff.
What other things did you learn? We found that people like having the option to compare between the 8C and the Arc. When we just had the one on the floor and the other in the back, we missed this piece of the puzzle. It wasn’t until a customer pushed me for the other one that it clicked in my mind that people wanted to try both.
As a Trek concept store, is it beneficial or strange to have ElliptiGO in your store? It helps to have something for everybody. Not everyone wants a regular bike, which is what Trek covers really well. Having ElliptiGO broadens your customer base, which would actually apply at any type of store. Often a husband and wife will be in store together, but only one is buying and the other is browsing. The ElliptiGO bike often is the product that starts up a conversation with the non-buying spouse, allowing us to educate them about something new to them and start to build a relationship with that person.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing his experiences in integrating ElliptiGO into his storefront. These simple principles are achievable by anyone. When executed well, it’s easy to add to your top line. If you have questions or want to discuss further, feel free to reach out to your sales manager or Chuck Day, Regional Sales Manager, at [email protected].