Posted on August 22nd, 2016 at 1:14 pm.
Portland’s only bike shop that specialized in the needs of triathletes is closing its doors. Athletes Lounge in northwest on Vaughn and 26th plans to close by October 1st.
Gary Wallesen has owned the shop for nearly six years after purchasing it from its previous owner who had run it since 2007.
Wallesen says the business isn’t strong enough to remain open. “Last year the numbers were down, this year numbers really down,” he shared via email last week. And he also offered some external reasons he feels the bike shop business is especially challenging these days. “The business environment is changing, online [shopping] is growing, a shop in town discounts everything and hurts all others. There is a big inventory of new bikes in Portland and the market.” Wallesen said the triathlon market is particularly flat (pun intended).
He even shared one cautionary tale that might point to larger trends: “I think people are looking to ride, but the roads are getting more crowded and a little less safe. So markets that take riders of the road might be doing better.”