July 31, 2021

In France, bicycle shops are booming, boosted by the increase in the practice of cycling

An air of celebration. An artist’s performance, music, around forty guests. This Thursday, June 10, taking advantage of the relaxation of sanitary measures, the English bicycle manufacturer Brompton was to officially inaugurate its first store in France. Located rue de Rivoli, in Paris, the store has been open since May 29. In a 90 m² room whose window has been decorated by the artist Lucas Beaufort, aficionados of this brand specializing in folding bicycles can find models, classic (from 1,500 euros) or electrically assisted (3,500 euros ) and luggage storage suitable for all trips.

For Brompton, whose factory is located in West London and which sold 5,000 bikes in France in 2020, the new store is as much a point of sale as it is“A marketing showcase” destined to “Share the love of the brand”, enthuses Fabien Pejoan, his sales manager. The time is, it is true, of the celebrations among the bicycle dealers. In the city of Paris alone, the number of cycle shops increased from 82 to 167 between 2014 and 2020, according to the observations of the Atelier parisien d’urbanisme.

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In France, if the professional organization of the sector, Union sport et cycle, does not produce any official inventory, Nicolas Mercat, of the consulting company Inddigo, listed « 2 400 » points of sale in 2019, and Olivier Schneider, president of the French Federation of bicycle users, estimates their number at « 3 000 » today. In addition to the shops of 500 to 1000 m² located in commercial zones, which continue to prosper, many smaller shops are now opening, sometimes only 30 or 50 m², in the centers as well as in the suburbs of the big cities.

“Busy avenue”

In recent weeks, while spring is traditionally the best season for sales, the openings have followed one another at a good speed, as evidenced by David Deprez, happy representative of the sign Les cyclistes branchés, in Charenton-le-Pont (Val -de-Marne). In a decor of raw concrete and disused pipes repainted in black, the merchant has been exhibiting, since May 11, a few dozen bicycles, as well as accessories, offered by handpicked brands, such as Kalkhoff, Vepli or Winora.

Traders always choose their location carefully, preferably not far from a cycle path, where customers can test the products.

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