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Bicycle World Offers Much More Than Bicycles

By Bob Peters
December 6, 2012

Allan McGimpsey - Bicycle World - CornwallCornwall Ontario - When you name your store Bicycle World, you had better be able to back it up with a wide selection of cycling products and a lot of space. Allan McGimpsey has succeeded on both counts. His store on Pitt Street in Downtown Cornwall is considered one of the biggest bike stores in Canada, with 2 floors and almost 10,000 square feet per floor.

And yet Bicycle World offers much more than bicycles. Over the past 26 years Mr. McGimpsey has built his business into a year-round source for bicycles, skis, snowboards, skateboards snowshoes and much more.

“Our selection of products is always changing,” Mr. McGimpsey says.  “We work hard to bring in items that are unique and in turn make sure we have are able to offer many styles , sizes and colors.”

Mr. McGimpsey heads out to trade shows each year to see what is new and to make arrangements to stock up well before each season. He pays special attention to consumer trends.

“Mountain bikes and downhill bikes were very much in a few years ago,” he says. “People found these bikes too heavy and turned towards hybrids which are much lighter and a better commuting bike. Road bikes are making a very strong come back as well.”

Cycling is big in Cornwall, with immediate access to the very best part of the world-famous Waterfront Trail, a network of cycling paths that stretch for 720km along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The City of Cornwall is highly-regarded for well-maintained paths along the waterfront that are well removed from vehicular traffic.

Mr. McGimpsey has built his business the hard way, learning the trade first as a student and then clerk before opening his own store.  A St. Lawrence College grad, he has learned how to deal with challenges from competitors, chain stores, the US dollar and fluctuations in the economy. This solid work ethic is perhaps the key to his enduring success.

“As the sole proprietor I am at work almost all the time, and I think that is how it should be,” he says. “People go to an independent business to see the owner.”

Still even he needs a little bit of help, especially as he also services what he sells.  Bicycle World has 4 or 5 employees in peak season, and as much time is spent with ski and snowboard tune-ups in the winter as is spent with servicing bicycles in the summer.

Bicycle World also supports community events throughout the year by sponsoring triathlons and races in addition to donating product to charity golf tournaments and silent auctions.

“I find that downtown Cornwall has been a great location for the store, as it keeps us connected with the community,” he says.

As Mr. McGimpsey and his staff gear up for a busy winter season, he is noticing that customers are of all ages and all skill levels. Hot product lines for the winter include Burton, Rossignol, Head, Alpina, Gnu, Libtech and Elan, while Christmas shoppers are also looking to place a bike or two under the Christmas tree.  Norco, Rocky Mountain, Hutch, Free Agent, Raleigh, KHS, Miele, Opus are just some of the fantastic name brands carried in the store.

“The new Go-Pro cameras are doing great and we currently have some great deals on ski and snowboard packages,” says Mr. McGimpsey.

Mr. McGimpsey helped kick start the holiday season by taking the time to film a short video of downtown merchants welcoming shoppers. The video has been seen over 500 times on Facebook and YouTube. Click here to view the video.

Bicycle World is located at 150 Pitt Street in Downtown Cornwall. The store is open 7 days a week during the Christmas shopping season. You can reach the store at (613) 932-2750.

You can also reach the store online at http://www.bicycleworld.com/ or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BicycleWorldCornwall

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Category: Business