Big changes ahead for Chain Reaction?

We had some visitors today from Trek, helping us look at ways to improve our Redwood City facility. Not that 1985 retail standards aren’t fine for many, but these days a business has to be as efficient and appealing to as many customers as practical. We’ve been at our current location for about 25 years, since before either my brother or I had kids. As the song says, what a long strange trip it’s been! We consider ourselves very fortunate that Trek has taken enough interest in our continued success to help us map the future. If things work out, they’re going to have to work out pretty fast, because we really can’t have the shop in pieces much past April!

So if you see me a bit stressed out, trying to figure out how to get seven impossible things done by noon, now you know why.

Actually, the design people weren’t the only Trek folk who dropped in. We also had a visit from Keith Bontrager, the man behind the name found on so many components on Trek bikes. Keith is one of the best; he tells it like it is and pulls no punches, even when talking about his own product. The good news was that there really was very little negative feedback to offer this trip! Bontrager wheels in particular are now among the most, if not the most-reliable on the market. We like that.

2 thoughts on “Big changes ahead for Chain Reaction?

    1. John: Good question! Lots of things make a shop more efficient. For example, when you come into our store, where are the bikes you’d use for commuting? How does anyone know the road bikes in the center are for women? Where are all the tires? (Up on the ceiling… who’d look there?). Our store is quite large, so it’s not always easy to find things, and they aren’t always grouped logically. Why don’t we have accessories relevant to road bikes near the road bikes? Why do we have Camelbaks miles away from our mountain bikes, and then wonder why we sell so few? Layout and signage issues. And our store policies… all the stuff we do to make sure you’re happy with the bike for years, not just the day you bought it. Where is that spelled out? How do you point out the advantages to dealing with a store where there’s a “corporate memory” of your bike that goes on forever (because it’s the same ownership/management)? The list goes on… and on… and on!

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