Tuesday 24 September 2019

Daily photo - 24: Shout out to Geoffrey Butler Cycles

In light of a few local bike shops having difficulties, and sadly the recent closure of Blue Door Bicycles in Crystal Palace, I thought I would give a shout out to one of my relatively local bike shops, Geoffrey Butler Cycles - a bike shop in Croydon that has been trading for around 60 years.

There was a time when I would go there quite a lot when they were based a little nearer to Croydon Town Centre and I would ride past there on my way back from club runs with my then cycling club, Addiscombe. They also used to supply the club kit so we would often go there. It was quite nice to arrive there on a Saturday afternoon, bump into other local riders and chew the fat about the local cycling scene.

These days I don't travel down that way as much as I used to, and I am no longer a member of Addiscombe CC. I managed to pop in there today to have my cyclocross bike serviced and it was good to catch up. They did a good job, and provided further advice on the bike, which always enhances the customer experience. It's a shame I wasn't able to buy cyclocross tyres from them though, as they said that nowadays they just don't see the point in stocking items when they know that folks are buying them on-line. 

I recall getting a similar reply from David Hibbs of Blue Door Bicycles when I asked him about 'cross tyres. He said that in 9 years of trading, he had never had anyone enquire about them. 

I guess therein lies the problem for local bike shops - less custom as folks abandon face-to-face shopping in order to go on-line. I guess Butler's stem the loss by having an on-line presence too, which is essential these days. I do hope that Geoffrey Butler Cycles and other local bike shops don't fall victim to the digital economy and other upcoming trends.

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