Pandemic Induced Vacation!
With the current situation of new bikes not available until October and parts impossible to get through normal channels, we have made the decision to temporarily close the shop for a few weeks starting Wednesday August 26th and re-opening on Wednesday September 23rd.
It would be easier to list the parts we can get than the parts we cannot but suffice it to say that without brake and shift cables, brake pads, tires, tubes, cassettes, freewheel, shifters, bottom brackets, cranks, wheels, etc. it is very hard to run a bike shop!
A lot of people have asked why this happened and when it will end. In my opinion, it started with the tariffs and companies looking to move some manufacturing capacity out of China and reduce capacity in China. Then when Covid hit initially, China shut down its manufacturing. When China should have been ramping up manufacturing again, Covid hit the US in March and initially companies figured bike sales would go in the tank like everything else so they were making plans to limit production and avoid warehouses full of unsold bikes. It wasn't until May that they realized what was happening and tried to ramp up production but it was too late and we have been behind a power curve of demand ever since!
Its not getting better any time soon either. I am hopeful that maybe in the spring next year, availability of most items will be restored. While we are closed we are hoping to re-stock parts, re-charge our batteries and hit the ground running or at least walking fast when we re-open in September!
Closing Out 2020
Mojo Cycles is opening again and we are making a few adjustments for the final quarter of 2020. WIth bikes and supplies impossible to keep in stock for the foreseeable future, we will need to have a lot of patience to get through this year and probably most of next year.
The current situation is still very tough for the bicycle industry. It is certainly a golden problem compared to the suffering that has occurred in other industries like travel, hospitality and many retail operations. The bike industry just was caught off guard by the increased demand for new bikes and repair parts. On the one hand, it is nice when a shipment of bikes arrives that you have been waiting on for months, but then they are all gone within a week and you realize you have nothing to sell for months again! Most popular bikes ordered today will not arrive until late spring or early summer next year! As far as repair parts, It is like christmas when a stockpile of parts becomes available and you try and stock up, but those parts are quickly gone and you wonder if you have enough to get by until they become available. In normal times, we could put together large orders and get shipping and volume discounts, but if we do that today all the parts sell out while you are putting together the order so we just buy whatever we can when we can so costs have gone up.
As far as costs, we have been notified that both unit and shipping costs are going up 10-15% across the board on bikes and parts. Some of this is caused by increased component and shipping costs for the manufacturers (e.g. flying product to reduce shipping time) but it is also just a matter of supply and demand. This is probably not contained to the bike industry so it looks like the Federal Reserve will get their wish next year about wanting more inflation.
One big change that we are making here at Mojo Cycles is eliminating our Saturday hours for the Fall. With the weather getting cooler, we want to avoid crowds in our small shop. There is a lot of casual traffic on Saturday and it will be impossible to maintain social distancing during this period. Instead we are going to open again on Tuesday for regular hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but hopefully with so many working from home, this will not cause too much hardship.
So our current hours of operation going forward will be:
Mojo Cycles has been closed during April to help slow the spread of the virus. Starting May 1st, Mojo Cycles is going to begin operations again but initially we will be operating curbside only.
The current plan is to allow curbside drop offs in the mornings from 10 AM to 1 PM and scheduled pickups in the afternoon from 4 PM to 6 PM. Please try and accommodate these times if possible. If it is a same day repair we may be able to handle it while you are there with your bike or you may have to pick it up during the afternoon pickup. In all cases, pickups will be arranged and payment will be taken by phone so the process will be as quick and painless as possible!
We are still working the details out and some changes will be expected as we try and serve the community as best as we are able and still keep everyone safe!
Closing Out The Pandemic
Well it has been a year since all the Covid-19 craziness started with no end in sight to the bike and parts shortage. It is not going to improve until next year at the earliest. As you can imagine, this situation is not very good for local bike shops. Most derive the majority of their top line revenue from new bike sales and not selling bikes is a big hit! Many of the bikes we ordered last summer have been pushed back until May!
Where does that leave us today? In the past there have been discussions about re-developing the location where Mojo currently operates. We have agreed with the landlord that given the current situation and after 17 years here that now would be a good time. This certainly feels bittersweet but the current plans include a retail location for a bike shop and so when the dust settles and this pandemic abates we hope to be able to re-open in a modern new facility right here in the same location. We would like to find a partner to assist in the development and operation of the new shop so contact us if you feel that desire!
So the plan is to start reducing our new bike inventory to zero ASAP! Oh wait, mission accomplished, thanks Covid! Seriously though, we may not have bikes to sell but we will be reducing inventory and taking care of service work going forward. There are plans which will have to be finalized and approved so the timing is still unknown both in terms of when we will be closing and when the new construction will be starting so stay tuned for more information. Once we have closed, you may be happy to know that Carolina Beer Temple is going to remain open throughout the construction so you can always come by and check on progress while you enjoy a cold craft beer!
COVID-19 Update 2