Letter to the editor: Corporate competition

To the editor:

Recently a front-page article discussed the recent opening of a new store in town: a fully corporate owned Trek bicycle store. Interesting comments were included from Dan Hughes, owner of the local Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop. As owner of Cycle Works, the other locally owned shop, I would add the following.

As Dan made clear, Trek ceased doing business with Sunflower when Sunflower was unable to commit to making 80% of its sales be Trek based. While recognizing the viability of Trek bicycles, Dan pointed out that his sales, like ours, are driven not by supplier’s demands but rather by customer choice.

This spring I hired a new shop manager. With his depth of background I offered a significant share of profits along with the very real possibility of assuming store ownership. A couple of months into his employment he gave me his two-week notice. Trek will make him a manager with a compensation package that he is certain I cannot compete with. Well, possibly. But actually only if the new shop generates the sales Trek believes it capable of.

It strikes me this promise may be much like others suggested in the article — that Trek will, among other wonderful things, bring more bike lanes to Lawrence. Nice thought. But honestly, now. Is getting what you want ever as simple as easy, hopeful promises?

Hope is a good thing. But really?

Please support your local bike shops.

Gary Long,



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