By Simon Smythe
Ribble Cycles has opened a new ‘omnichannel’ flagship showroom in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, that it is calling “possibly the best bike shop in the world".
The brand says it has reimagined retail by "personalising the physical in-store experience and combining with a digitally enabled environment to be paperless, efficient, engaging and constantly ‘live’ with the ability to refine in real time messaging and merchandising."
To this end, the new showroom has been designed to blend the digital with the physical to create a unique, totally immersive and all-sensory consumer experience, according to Ribble.
A signature scent has even been created for use in store to further enhance the sensory experience.
The 2,000-square-foot showroom houses what Ribble claims is Europe’s largest indoor 4k video wall, which it says will dramatically add further brand enhancement, engagement and customer interaction.
Every bike in the Ribble range will be showcased, each one getting a generous amount of space that’s intended to “allow the customer to interact with the bikes and appreciate the design in detail.”
Detailed product information is provided on digital display screens beside every bike, including spec, geometry, pricing, FAQs and reviews.
Ribble says the human touch is still present, however, with a team that it describes as knowledgeable, passionate and friendly on hand to answer any questions and offer assistance.
David Stacey, Ribble’s commercial director, said: “We wanted to create a brand showcase which would define the future of cycle retailing and represent our world-class credentials. Putting the Ribble brand experience in the heart of the Ribble Valley set amongst the most incredible riding routes directly from our doorstep was of paramount importance. From the moment you step into the showroom you will enter a truly immersive experience and it will completely challenge the notion of a traditional bike shop. I passionately believe that we have created a major step forward for retail standards and possibly the best bike shop in the world at launch.”
Other key showroom elements include a demonstration of the Ribble process: its BikeBuilder tool allows the customer to customise builds with componentry options – which are also on display in store.
Further personalisation can be achieved with Ribble's Custom Colour option – the store includes a Custom Colour display featuring all the colours and finishes available.
Ribble's bikes are then built up in the UK by one mechanic from start to finish and either delivered or available for click and collect.
Andy Smallwood, Ribble’s CEO, added: “This exciting state-of-the-art digitally focused showroom and brand retail proposition is the culmination of incredible work by the entire team at Ribble and whilst we have been trading since 1897 this absolutely represents our vision for the future of the Ribble business as we continue to innovate and disrupt the cycling and leisure markets on our way to becoming a truly world-class brand. This new flagship showroom showcases our significant investment and dedication to and vision for the brand’s future with the digital technology integrated into this physical proposition enhancing and complementing our industry leading online customer journey demonstrating the ambition and scale of our strategy”.
The new store also houses the Ribble Live virtual showroom team, which allows customers worldwide to speak with one of its experts via a live one-way video chat and to experience the store from home.
Starting in the summer the store will also become a hub for Ribble events and activities including regular ride-outs, evening talks, technical ‘how to’ classes, screenings and Zwift events, with more information to follow,
Ribble says elements from the new flagship store will be built into more stores as the brand continues to increase its physical portfolio footprint.
The address of the new showroom is: Ribble Cycles, Unit 1, Barrow Brook Trade Park, Barrow Brook, Clitheroe BB7 9BQ. It's open seven days a week.
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