Strong core values and a passion for people that have kept customers coming back for 29 years…
A&S Cycles is a rare find on the high street today; a long established business showing not an ounce of retail fatigue, with an enticing shop front and once inside a welcome that you know you can trust. As soon as you enter the shop you immediately feel that you are in safe hands and that your experience is going to be a good one. You won’t be disappointed…It is up to date and interesting, with the niggling feeling that you may just have entered the Aladdin’s cave of the bicycle world. The first thing that will strike any customer on entering are the people (the excellent range is a given). On our first visit the owner was not there, this made no difference to the service and welcome we received. All staff members are part of something special here and customer service is effortlessly genuine and consistently good.
So, how does a long established business sustain this fresh energy and engage their customer base both old and new?
The answer lies with its core values…
When the business was set up 29 years ago by local resident Suleman ‘Solly’ Vesamia, aged just 19, his passion and motivation was three fold:
- Cycling (of course!) and in the early years fishing
- The local area
- …but most importantly PEOPLE
A passion for people and the surrounding area still remain at the core of this business today and are values that are at the heart of the operation which is now run by Solly’s widow Shameem. Shameem and her team have guided their traditional business into a new, challenging era of social media and local regeneration both gently and extremely effectively, which is no easy task. Change is necessary but not always easy for people to accept. A&S Cycles have managed this with sensitivity and without alienating local residents or regular customers, at the same time attracting new custom. They seem to have managed this by their openness and tireless commitment to serving the local community, making a genuine difference where possible. People come fist with this business. High levels of technical expertise and knowledge help form the backbone of this business but what sustains them on their journey through today’s high street challenges is their instinctive ability to venture ‘beyond the counter…’ Their customer service is consistently good, regardless of who walks through their door and which member of staff they are talking to; this is a shop made accessible and welcoming to the whole community. They make their customers feel part of something by sharing their passions and engaging with the local community far beyond simply selling them a bike. Over the years they have never lost the ability to engage with their customer, an art that seems to have been forgotten on the high street in recent years; it’s no surprise to hear that they know the individual names of all their customers. They openly support and promote other local businesses using social media and word of mouth, understanding the importance of collective engagement on the high street.
So, after 29 years of running a small independent business, here is A&S Cycles’ 3 Top Tips For Continued Success on The High Street:
Engage and take time – listen don’t just sell
Bring customers into your business – take them on your journey with you and make them feel part of something
When a customer gives you their custom, thank them by giving them something memorable in return