For 33 years Terry Hammond Cycles has been part of the cycling scene in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. He’s operated from a small shopfront on Highett Road, Highett. When he began in 1984 this was a typical ‘old school’ suburban railway station shopping strip. Terry’s shop, which is just 50 metres from the station, is now surrounded by huge apartment buildings, supermarkets and other shops.
Terry opened his first store from scratch. It was right next door to his current store location and he’s always traded as Terry Hammond Cycles.
When Bicycling Trade called Terry on 4th July he was up a ladder pulling down the slatwall from his shop, having just closed the doors for the final time.
“We aren’t closing our business,” Terry stressed. “We are transitioning to a new business model. I feel that this could be the future for a lot of the smaller bike shops like ours.
“Our new model is not going to be bricks and mortar but clicks and mortar. I’m targeting my customer base that I’ve picked up over the past 30 plus years. I’ll just be servicing the south east area of Melbourne, I don’t want to travel too far.
“I’ll also be tapping into the emergence of bikes in boxes on the internet, the assembly of those as well. I suppose if you can’t beat them, partially join them.”
Terry’s changing his business name to Terry Hammond Mobile.
“I’ve still got spare parts and accessories to service repairs, but I’ll be referring bicycle sales to other shops.
“I’ve hired a little warehouse and moved my stock from the shop to our warehouse. So we’re still trading as a normal business with the added bonus of bike pickup to do repairs in our warehouse or the option of doing the repairs at the customer’s site. It’s just the next level of service that time poor people like and want.
“I’m offering the same gold silver and bronze servicing packages as before at the same charges and we won’t charge a call out fee, but I’m not paying big rent either.
“You’re never going to beat the majors with their own stores, Terry said. It’s a race to the bottom if you try to. Plus with a one and a half man business, you tend to be here seven days a week. So it’s immensely cut my running costs – granted I’ll no longer have bike sales. But over the years the number of bike sales has diminished but my repair side has increased. So I’m just tapping into the market that I’ve already got a following for.”
“Another factor in making this decision was that for 33 years I’ve had 3x3x3 year leases. But the owner now has a clause for the demolition of this old shop and they’ll only give me a 12 month lease. The three shops next to me all have demolition orders and they have not put a For Lease sign up on my shop even though I’m already virtually out the door.”
Terry’s new location will be Unit 3, 21 Bricker Street, Moorabbin which is about 1.5 kilometres from his existing shop.
Terry said that he’s staggered what the tenants of newer shops along Highett Road are currently paying. He admits that his old shop is below the market there, but also says that ‘it leaks like a colander’ because the landlord does not spend any money on repairs and maintenance.
For many years Terry Hammond Cycles was a Giant dealer. He continued after Giant opened their company owned concept store Giant Cycling World Hampton in the adjacent suburb but later Terry and Giant parted company.