I got an email that, among other things, said; "Hey Frank, you're kind of a Dick. Aren't you worried about losing sales."
I'm not concerned about sales because I don't work in "sales."
That's not to say if you need to buy something I won't help get it for you but I don't hold an inventory of parts.
I carry what I need to fix bikes and I'll charge you a fair retail price if you need that for your repair.
What's an LBS, according to Frank? Well what's not an LBS;
Performance is Not an LBS. That doesn't mean any shop with a web-store presents isn't an LBS it just means they're trying harder.
If a shop has more than one location, they're Not an LBS. They're trying Too hard to make as much profit as possible or lose the kids college fund. Which ever comes first...usually the latter.
The "boutique" shop is Not an LBS. Filling square footage with the latest trends along with the trickiest bikes and hottest clothing line will bring the high end customers but don't get bitchy when most just come in to try on the shorts, rub their genitalia all up in it, then go home and buy it online. Also be sure to rent that space as close to Starbucks as possible.
Speaking of online shopping; The world of retail has changed and online shopping will only become more common. There will be some people that don't search the Internet for their cycling needs mostly because they don't know what they need but rather only what they want. But as hunting for parts and accessories becomes more main stream you'll see that customers will come to a shop knowing what the best price for that part is and maybe have it in hand. If you give a service customer the stink eye when they bring in a frame and a box of parts wanting you to build it up or get all pissy when someone hands you a component to bolt on and adjust you're Not an LBS.
Service is the about only thing profitable in a bike shop. And as far as I give a shit it's the fun part.
That and locking the door then going for a ride with the customer and making them buy the beer.
I encourage everyone to come to us for advice on parts. If I can I'll match online pricing and give a firm price on installation and adjustment.
So what was that email about?