Here in SLC we take a very active approach to engaging the local shops. When our new ED was hired, we toured the local shops to introduce him. We generally pitch the idea that we perform functions that shops can't but, that build a cycling community that the shops depend on. Some examples of programs like that are:

Bicycle valet for events
Used parts for those too poor or bikes too old
Bicycle social events
Bicycle safety and commuter advocacy
Youth and adult mechanics training

As a result, we frequently get valuable donations of parts and tools from these bicycle industry partners. Some shops have a bin they throw old parts in then forward to us. Be clear that you don't buy used parts or bikes and limit sales of new goods to "wear items," and I think you'll be surprised how much support you get. Co-ops/collectives/community shops often provide services that shops rather would not.

We plan to display a directory of local shops (with brands) for those wanting warranty service or seeking goods and services we can't/don't provide.

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM, mpattisall <> wrote:
Our Co-op's  former location was less than a block from a real bike shop.  At first the bike shop owner was peeved but soon realized that many of our customers were coming to them for parts we did not have.  Also, the bike shop was sending the co-op customers with bikes that " weren't really worth fixing".  Co-ops and regular bike shops are two different animals and we get along pretty well with the shops near us  ( Spokes, Big Wheel, Bicycle Pro Shop, Performance)

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM, Stephen Andruski <> wrote:
I'm in the process of starting a bike co-op in the Rockville, MD area. Once we are established, I want to go and talk to the managers of the commercial bike shops in the area. Since I can foresee some potential antagonism based on the perception that the co-op will compete with them for repair business, I want to go armed with information. Does anyone know of any studies that show the economic impact of bike co-ops on the commercial shops in the same area? Along the same lines, does anyone have personal experience on the reaction of commercial shops to the start up of a co-op in "their" area? The more specific you can be in the responses, the better, though I can understand if you don't want to throw someone under the bus.
Any information would be helpful. We're still a few months away from actually needing this information, but I'd like to be prepared. 
Steve Andruski

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

~ Abraham Lincoln


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