Given the Covid-impacted carnage that has been inflicted on the retail sector over the past year, Ribble Cycles appear to be bucking that trend, with news today of a brand new flagship store opening.
Located in Clitheroe, Lancashire – in the Ribble Valley, of course – the advanced showroom has been specifically designed to integrate with what is other a ‘digital first’ business, providing a “totally immersive and all-sensory consumer experience” in their words.
There’s no doubt (and if you still doubt it, you are wrong…), that events such as the pandemic accelerate innovation and step-changes in the world. ‘Online’ was already well-established and growing before we’d even heard of coronavirus, but we’ve probably done a fast-forward by several years because of it. As a result, what we have considered to be a ‘shop’, will likely look very different in the future – and that’s clearly the approach that Ribble has taken here, even referencing omnichannel in their press release.
It’s a bold move – one I wish them well for.
Ribble Cycles redefines omnichannel retail with Landmark Flagship Showroom
Ribble Cycles have opened their brand new, landmark state of the art flagship showroom in the heart of the Ribble Valley.
Ribble, a digital first business and renowned premium world-class bicycle manufacturer and retailer opens a brand new destinational flagship showroom in the heart of the Ribble valley, Lancashire. The 2,000sq ft state of the art showroom has been designed to showcase Ribble’s complete award winning and critically acclaimed bicycle range and provides a brand new bicycle retail proposition blending digital with the physical to create a unique, totally immersive and all-sensory consumer experience.
The spacious flagship has been designed to individually showcase every bike in the Ribble range with a generous amount of space to allow the customer to interact with the bikes and appreciate the design in detail. Sense of space also expands to consumers being given control over their own environment with information immediately at their fingertips: dedicated product information is contained on digital display screens beside every bike on display, allowing the customer to truly experience the bike in action alongside key information including spec, geometry, pricing, FAQ’s and reviews. A knowledgeable, passionate and friendly team are also on-hand to answer any questions and assistance to select the perfect bike.
“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.” States David Stacey, Commercial Director, Ribble
Ribble’s proposition 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.
Other key showroom elements include:-
Europe’s largest indoor 4k video wall dramatically adding further brand enhancement, engagement and customer interaction. Ribble’s BikeBuilder tool which allows the customer to customise their builds with each and every componentry option on display in-store. Further personalisation can be achieved with their Custom Colour option – the store includes a Custom Colour display featuring all the colours and finishes available. Every bike is then hand-built in the UK by one mechanic from start to finish and delivered to your door or available for click and collect. A signature scent has been created to use in store to further enhance the sensory experience.
Andy Smallwood, Ribble’s CEO adds: “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 flagship store also houses the Ribble Live virtual showroom team allowing customers from all around the world to speak with one of the experts via a live one-way video chat and to experience the store from the comfort of their own home.
Starting this Summer the store will also become a location for Ribble events and activities including regular ride-outs, evening talks, technical ‘how to’ classes, screenings and Zwift events – more info to follow…
Elements from the new flagship store will be built into more stores as the brand continues to increase the physical portfolio footprint.
The flagship showroom is at:
Ribble Cycles, Unit 1, Barrow Brook Trade Park, Barrow Brook, Clitheroe BB7 9BQ
And is open 7 days a week.