Friday, August 12, 2016

Friendly Giant Coming to Town

I had been aware that the folks at Spokes were going to open a new Giant Bike concept store soon and got the official word this morning in the form of the news release below. With the closing of the Spokes downtown location due to the move of Orbea USA back to NLR, the Spokes epicenter will be shifting to the west. The Spokes Giant store will be in Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center on Cantrell, perhaps not as "bike friendly" as the Main St. location but it certainly comes with a higher traffic count and is likely closer to much of their customer base.

Giant is a bit of an enigma, at least in this market. It may simply be my impression, but they don't seem to get the respect of brands like Trek, Specialized, Pinarello, Cervelo, etc, though Giant is arguably the technological leader of them all. . Giant produces its own carbon fiber and it recognized as a leader in the field of composites. They provide many other bike makers with pre-preg material for frame fabrication and they build frames for a number of leading brands ( I was told several years ago that Trek is Giant's biggest customer).

Since opening at Stifft Station, Spokes has proven to be not only a first rate retailer, but a very good actor within our community.
Things just keep evolving on the Little Rock bike scene. Tony Karklins, a Spokes partner, bought the assets of the Guru brand and is now building HIA (Handmade In Arkansas) bike in Little Rock.
That deserves more coverage than I have given it as a mostly-retired blogger, as it is a very interesting story. Maybe I'll get energetic and do some investigating

Spokes Enterprises Announces Opening of New West Little Rock Location
Little Rock, Arkansas, August 12, 2016:
Saturday, July 31st, was the final day for the Spokes Little Rock downtown location. "With Orbea's decision to relocate the company's headquarters to North Little Rock in early August, we had no option but to close this location", says Mat Seelinger, managing partner of Spokes Enterprises. "We are very proud of being part of the revitalization of Little Rock's Main Street and we wish Orbea the best in their relocation to North Little Rock."
Plans are currently underway for both a significant makeover of the iconic Spokes Kavanaugh location and the addition of new store in West Little Rock. Spokes Kavanaugh will see exciting changes in the coming months including the addition of Liv, the world’s first pure female cycling brand, which will be showcased in the Liv Experience Center featuring Giant’s Liv branded bicycles, clothing and accessories. The opening of the Liv Experience Center is planned for August 15th.
Additionally, Spokes Enterprises is very proud to announce the opening of Giant Bicycles of Little Rock scheduled for midOctober of this year. Located in West Little Rock's Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center, Giant Bicycles of Little Rock will feature the Giant, Liv and Momentum brands and include a state of the art service department to service all brands and cyclists in that section of town. "Giant Bicycles of Little Rock will be owned and operated by Spokes Enterprises and will bring Spoke's signature hospitality and customer service to the west side of town," says Seelinger.

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