Around Town Bicycles sees demand skyrocket

WILKES-BARRE — For Around Town Bicycles, gross sales skyrocketed through the pandemic.

The situation, nevertheless, was sustaining stock, particularly elements.

Owner Rich Adams spoke with a reporter Thursday afternoon after the distinctive scenario he and his store discovered themselves in — and nonetheless do.

“Everyone wanted a bike ’cause no one could work. They couldn’t do any team sports and they were alone at home,” Adams mentioned. “So, everyone wanted to go outside. In May of 2020, we were selling at four or five bikes a day.”

He went on to elucidate that the business couldn’t sustain and ran out of bikes after a number of months.

“The demand is still there,” Adams mentioned, “but the inventory has not rebounded.”

He gave the instance of a buyer who wanted a component for his bike, which Adams ordered 9 months in the past, and is at present due on April 20.

Adams defined that “99% of all bicycles, pretty much, and all parts come from China and Asia,” and people areas nonetheless haven’t recovered from COVID-19. Be it employee shortages and even the excessive demand for uncooked supplies to have the ability to make the elements, like aluminum for frames, it’s a multi-tiered scarcity that has nonetheless not caught up.

“It’s part of the supply chain. But in this instance, demand has skyrocketed and prices see an increase of 25 to 30% on bikes (and parts),” Adams mentioned.

He joked that the occasions have been helpful to gross sales, given the speed at which bikes have been flying off the cabinets. “I mean we did good business. It only took 15 years to have a good year,” he remarked, referring to Around Town’s opening in 2004, and the uptick in buys through the preliminary phases of the pandemic.

Since these preliminary phases of the pandemic, Around Town Bicycles has gotten to work with the Diamond City Partnership’s College Ambassador Program.

Speaking of the DCP, Adams mentioned, “They took care of me. They’re actually involved. They’re involved in helping, and I’m now working with Wilkes University.”

Specifically, college students from Wilkes University’s Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship are at present working to revamp the Around Town Bicycles web site.

Overseen by Intern Director Charles Pierce, who holds an MBA and a BBA from Wilkes and Executive in Residence, and Army veteran Gerald Ephault, the middle provides quite a few providers to burdgeoning entrepreneurs and established companies alike.

And Adams had excessive reward for the crew that’s engaged on the web site. He mentioned, “One of the graduate students, Hayden Hernandez, he’s sort of their project manager, and he’s freaking on the ball, man.” Adams went on to elucidate that Hernandez and his crew preserve him up to date and knowledgeable all through all the course of, and that the imaginative and prescient has been very clear.

“I’m not accustomed to that level of information,” Adams admitted.

The last undertaking then, ought to be fairly distinctive.

But that is simply one other instance of teams within the metropolis working collectively. Adams and his enterprise are there to assist people get exterior, keep well being and an energetic way of life and change into part of one thing. The middle and the DCP are there making certain that enterprise homeowners like Adams are in a position to present their providers on the highest stage of high quality and satisfaction.

And whereas the scarcity of bikes and elements stays to be an issue, Adams is working by it, with store technician Lee Curry of West Pittston on board for the final decade, serving prospects who then change into mates.

Adams admits that his enterprise is seasonal, they usually’ve been round lengthy sufficient to know that. With that in thoughts, he did point out how good it might be to see people return to workplace work downtown, providing a much-needed jumpstart to different companies, like eating places, that actually thrive off of getting these a number of thousand employees round in search of lunch or a espresso.

“I’m sad that there’s not as many people working downtown. I feel bad for other businesses, you know, that rely on people that work here,” Adams mentioned.

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