Our Los Altos location closes September 24th; Redwood City remains open for business for years to come.
It's no secret that the SF Bay Area is pricing people out... out of homes, out of businesses. Sadly, it's priced us out of our Los Altos location, where we've had 24 great years serving cyclists in the South Bay. Steve and I spent quite some time looking for alternative locations, and a couple looked possible, but the numbers didn't add up. The cost of moving the business and building out the interior were so high it would have put our Redwood City operation at risk, as well as our homes. I've included the note Steve sent out to customers on our e-list announcing our plans.
We will continue serving our South Bay clientele, and have just created a partnership with VeloFix for mobile repairs. If you schedule a repair on their website using the promo code CHAINREACTION you will get a $20 discount off your first service package. (If the site says you're out of their service area, give them a call at 650 787 3775) Your repair will be backed up not just by VeloFix but Chain Reaction as well. If you have an issue, you can bring it to our Redwood City store to have it resolved. A pretty good deal!
For those assuming the landlord raised our rent 1000%, that didn't happen. The combination of rent & triple-net expenses was always pretty high, and the new proposed rent was just too much for our sales in that location. A good part of the issue was parking; while there might be several empty spaces in front of our store, you'd never know it trying to navigate a parking lot totally jammed with customers end employees from Trader Joes and Starbucks. We also lost quite a few customers when the shopping center enforced a 90 minute parking limit, tagging and towing cars when people had parked there for bike rides. It wasn't our fault, but we suffered from the ill-will.
Our Redwood City team is really looking forward to taking care of our South Bay clientele, and there will be some familiar faces. Steve will be spending some time in Redwood City, as will Rolando, Ashish & CJ (maybe even Don & . It is somewhat surprising how many had believed our two locations were entirely-different businesses; I've had quite a few emails asking if it was "ok" to bring bikes we've sold in Los Altos to our Redwood City location. It most assuredly is!!! Becky, Kevin, Joey, Karen, Roger, Jose and I all look forward to seeing you.
I apologize for things that might at times seem a bit out-of-sorts; closing a store is something we have no experience in, and it's a really tough process, both physically and emotionally. Tears have literally been shed over this. But ultimately this is about evolving and adapting, and as long as people still ride bikes, we're going to make sure Chain Reaction Bicycles continues to be relevant to the needs of local cyclists. Until September 24th, here's the page for our closeout deals. Only in Los Altos.
Thank you, Mike Jacoubowsky, partner (and Steve's brother), Chain Reaction Bicycles.