Instead of competing, local shops spread the love by promoting each other

Kenton Cycle Repair co-owner Starmichael Bowman
dreams of Gladys Bikes in this screenshot
from the “2 Bike Shops in Love” promotional video.

Two north Portland bike shops just three miles away from each other have opted for an embrace rather than competition. Gladys Bikes (3808 N Williams Ave #132) and Kenton Cycle Repair (2020 N McClellan St) have launched “Two Bike Shops in Love”, a novel marketing campaign that actually encourages customers to shop at another store.

During the week-long promotion, which runs January 18th through the 25th, when someone buys a product or service from one shop, they’ll get a coupon for 10% off at the other one.

Why would two bike shops owners — especially ones that are relatively close to each other and cater to similar types of customers — encourage people to shop at a store other than their own?

“We like each other,” is the simple reason given by Gladys Bikes owner Leah Benson. Benson and Kenton Cycle Repair co-owners Rich Walker and Starmichael Bowman met several years ago and have stayed in touch since opening their respective shops.
Here’s more from the press release:

We admire the work that each other’s shops do.

The guys at Kenton are really excited to see that Gladys is attempting to create a welcoming bike shop that caters first and foremost to women bicycle riders. Also, they think that Gladys Bikes’ Saddle Library is totally awesome and wish that they had come up with the idea first.

Leah has a lot of admiration for KCR’s approachable, affordable and spot-on service. She thinks you’d be hard-pressed to find more a passionate and friendly bike mechanic than either Rich or Star. Additionally, she thinks it’s cool that they also build custom frames and racks at super reasonable prices.

And they even made a sweet little video:

The owners figure that as small shops with no marketing budget, they have more to gain by promoting each other rather than competing. And, on a less serious note, Benson says, “This promotion allows us to laugh at ourselves and have some fun. And sometimes that’s all the reason you need.”

Learn more about these shops via the BikePortland archives:
Kenton Cycle Repair now open for business (November 2012)
New shop on Williams Ave, ‘Gladys Bikes’, caters to women (October 2013)

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