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Friday, Dec 8, 2023

Giant Raises the Bar for Cycle Retailers with Podium Concept

The owner of Agoura Cycles came back from a trip to Florida early this year with a vision to create a bike shop like no other in Southern California. Joel Richman got that idea after visiting a new store that was named by Bicycle Retailer as one of the best (bicycle) retailers of 2006. The shop, nestled among stores like Coach and Tiffany & Co. in an upscale shopping mall in Fort Lauderdale, FL, made quite an impression on him. It was the first store created through Giant Bicycle Inc.’s Giant Retail Partner program. There are different levels of the program, the highest of which is a podium store. According to Giant spokesman Patrick VanHorn, GRP Podium stores are bike shops that have partnered with Giant’s in-house team of marketers and designers to create a higher level shopping experience. As any local cyclist will tell you, most bicycle retailers in the Valley are design-challenged. “The Giant Retail Development team works closely with shop owners in determining store layout, paint scheme, lighting, and fixtures,” said VanHorn. To Richman, it was clear that this is what he wanted for his Agoura shop. “I bugged them every day,” he said about his quest to become a GRP podium shop. Initially he was going to redesign his Agoura store, but then he learned of a Sherman Oaks shop that was going out of business and decided to take over that location. “That store needed a lot of work because it was in really poor shape,” said Richman. Giant, whose U.S. headquarters are in Newbury Park, had a set plan, he said, and their design services were free. “I selected the primary colors but they arranged for the contractor and everything. The actual remodel costs were mine but the Giant-branded fixtures, displays, posters, etc., they picked up.” Richman is very happy with his new place, now called Boulevard Cycles. Found at the busy intersection of Van Nuys and Ventura Boulevards, the grand opening celebration on Dec. 8 was well attended. “The store is beautiful,” he said. “It is the nicest bike shop in the Valley.”

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