Hout Bay’s Complete Cyclist and Swakopmund’s Cycles4U stores are now part of the Specialized Bicycles family. Cycles4U is the second Namibian store affiliated with the brand.
Specialized Bicycles Africa has partnered with 30 stores: 27 in South Africa, 2 in Namibia and 1 in Botswana. Of these, just under half (12) are concept stores where close to 100% of their stock is Specialized branded product, 11 are elite stores that sell mostly Specialized branded products, but may also stock another two cycling brands, and 6 retail independently and stock Specialized alongside any other cycling products of their choosing.
The brand has one company-owned store in Stellenbosch, which also hosts its head office. “This store is more of a test bed for us and gives us a chance to understand retail better, test new systems and teach staff from all the stores around the country, whether it be in sales, the workshop or our Body Geometry Fit course,” says Kristy Yeld of Specialized Bicycles Africa.
The other privately owned stores collaborated with Specialized Bicycles under the Concept and Elite umbrellas in exchange for assistance with existing store upgrades and fitting out. “Only three are completely new, but they are run by other store owners who were looking to open a second outlet.”
Complete Cyclist in Hout Bay, Cape Town, joins its two older sisters in Johannesburg, which became part of the Specialized family almost three years ago. “The Complete Cyclist team has become an integral part of our brand over the last few years and we hold their opinions and input in high regard,” says Bobby Behan of Specialized Bicycles Africa.
“When they decided to go with an Elite store in the Western Cape we were fully on board,” says Scott McKenzie who owns Complete Cyclist Hout Bay. “The support we get from the Specialized team is like no other and their business model is one that works seamlessly with ours.”
The store has not only gained a Specialized Elite Store logo on its storefront, but also an upgraded workshop and new staff members. It also now has designated areas for women, kids, MTB and road cycling, and a new Body Geometry Fit Studio.
The 160m2 Cycles4U Swakopmund store with an additional 40m2 workshop area, has an open layout that makes the small size look and feel bigger. It features designated men’s, women’s and kids areas and caters for the riding needs of the whole family. It also has a fully equipped bike studio to help improve fitness levels, as well as a Body Geometry Fit studio, where the owner Alfons Kiesewetter himself has been trained to get customers properly set up on their bicycles.
Kiesewetter was introduced to Specialized by the team of Cycletec Adventure Centre – the company’s first Namibian store that was launched in 2015. Cycling had started out as his hobby, but later became a passion and he discovered the untapped cycling market in the area. “I knew from the start that I had to get Specialized into my store,” says Kiesewetter, who found that there was a customer base in the area, but that customers had to drive three hours to Windhoek for the services they needed.