In yet another blow to local bike shops in the US, Beeline Bikes is set to offer drop-off, assembly, and set-up services for bicycles purchased on Amazon.com, according to Sports One Source. The service will be free for bikes that cost over $500, though only customers in eligible areas will be able to take advantage of the service.
Pete Buhl, CEO and co-founder of Beeline Bikes says, “As bicycle brands and bicycle consumers go increasingly online, ‘mobile’ and ‘service’ will become the cornerstones of the industry.” He also notes that many local bike shops are becoming more mobile themselves, adding “mobile” to their brick and mortar stores. Anecdotally, we’ve heard about local bike shops that are actually closing their physical locations in favor of a leaner, mobile-only presence.
Amazon’s selection of mountain bikes is pretty limited at the moment, with only a few familiar brands like Diamondback and Mongoose available for purchase. Not only that, only about 50 mountain bikes currently listed on Amazon’s US website even cost more than $500; most of the mountain bikes being sold there cost less. Still, with millions of regular customers, Amazon seems to be positioning itself to dominate yet another retail category, and that should have local bike shops–and even online bike retailers like JensonUSA–worried.
Sound off: Are you comfortable with the idea of buying a bike online? Would you enjoy the convenience of buying your next MTB from Amazon?