Gas station without pumps

2016 May 12

Sprockets closed again

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:43
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I reported in 2012 that one of my favorite bike shops (Sprockets on Mission Street in Santa Cruz) had closed without any fanfare, and a couple of months later that they had reopened under new ownership.

Unfortunately, they seem to have gone out of business again—my wife went there on Monday to get a new floor pump for the soda-bottle rockets, and they weren’t there. I don’t know the reason, but I suspect that they were not moving enough product to make their payroll—bike shops are a tough business, and there are two others within 0.7 miles on Mission Street, as well as one downtown (about a mile away).  That doesn’t count the two (or is it three) on the Eastside, just a mile further away, nor the one near the beach, about a mile away.

The City of Santa Cruz can support 7 or 8 bike shops, but only marginally—it is more a labor of love than a profitable business enterprise.  (Note: one bike shop per 7,000–8,000 residents is a high concentration for the US. There were supposedly only 3790 specialty bike shops in the USA in 2015 [http://www.statista.com/statistics/215249/number-of-speciality-bicycle-retail-locations-in-the-us/], which is a ratio of one shop per 84,000 people. So Santa Cruz is still doing at least 10 times better than the US as a whole.

It will be annoying to have to walk 0.6 miles instead of 0.4 miles to the nearest bike shop, but not a major hardship. I just hope that the circumstances are not as dire as the previous closure of Sprockets (one of the co-owners died and the other decided not to continue the shop without her).

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