Swiss Migros Steps Up Bicycles Business with Mega Stores
ZURICH, Switzerland – ‘Bike World’ is the ambitious name of the new shop concept launched by Swiss retail giant Migros. Three Bike World mega stores will be opened this month. They offer wide range of A-brand bicycles, cycling gear, in-store workshop as well as innovative test tools, and are expected to be a serious competitor for local Swiss IBDs in the years to come.
The development of the Bike World format took two years and was a top secret project accomplished by Migros’ sport store concept Sport XX. Up a few months ago the suppliers were bound to secrecy, and staff was still recruited under the generic name of Sport XX.
The lead time of the project was extended to two years as all the 10 regional cooperatives which make up Migros had to approve the project. This is in contrast with the e-bike store format M-Way the company introduced six years ago and which is a trade mark of the Migros Cooperative Federation.
Sport XX speaks of a five-year plan, but does not want to be specific about the planned number of locations. According to industry insiders this number will range between one to two dozen. Yesterday, the first shop was opened in Volketswil just outside Zurich while the second one will be based in in Muri near Bern. The third Bike World store will be opened next March 30 and is situated in an old factory building called ‘Kesselhaus’ in Winterthur. This former industrial workshop is known for its impressive interior with lots of wood and steel.
Three stores in 2017
These three stores will be the only ones opening in 2017. With 900 to 1,200m², the Bike World store format is aiming at large floor spaces in contrast to the current declining retail business due to growing online sales.
For Sport XX the main challenge was to get on board as many as possible A-brands who were committed to IBDs. At the opening of the first outlet in Zurich, Bike World proudly presented a portfolio of no less than 11 A-brands covering almost all categories. For road, trekking and MTB, Bike World offers Giant, Ghost, Scott and Trek, for urban Diamant and Tour de Suisse, Puky for children and Radio for BMX. In the category e-bikes Flyer and Haibike are available at Bike World.
Competition for m-way?
The obvious question is whether Bike World will compete with Migros own e-bike retail chain M-way or whether there will there be some sort of cooperation? According to Sport XX general manager Roman Müller, “Bike World will have its own strategy, in line with the tradition to the proved Migros management culture.” However, it is striking that electric bikes represent a comparatively modest share of in the total of some 450 bikes on the shop floor, considering that this is the only growth segment at the moment.