Popular bike shop closing in Hamilton

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Published October 24, 2023 at 11:58 am

Hamilton bike shop closing down

A bicycle store that’s been in business since 1967 will be closing its doors at the end of the month. 

Pierik’s Cycle, located on King Street West, announced the closure on its website and said the brick-and-mortar store would cease operations on Oct. 31 due to its lease expiring.

Owner Lou Vasso, who bought the shop from the Pierek’s about six years ago, told inthehammer.com that he made the difficult decision to close the shop after evaluating the current and future rent hikes.

“A new owner bought the building. He’s a nice guy and everything. Good-natured and friendly, but he came in with his own increase of rent this year, which means I’ll be being beaten by the rent in a couple of years.”  

Vasso, who used to co-own the Cyclepath cycling shop in Mississauga, says the cycling industry is seeing a downturn following a few years of increased sales amid the crisis stage of the COVID pandemic.

“The cycling industry is a little soft this year, one of the softest years in recent memory. Some say it’s the softest year in 25 years,” he says.

“It’s a boom and bust theory. Covid lasted two years and that was the boom, but now it’s a bust. Shops have excessive inventory. Everyone bought their bikes in the last two years.” 

Vasso says at this stage in his career, he doesn’t want to wait to see if things get easier on their own.

“If I was 20 years younger, I might just get through it and wait for a better year, but I would say at this time, I don’t feel like investing in [rent] that will be double in three years what I was paying five years ago.”

But while the shop will close at the end of the month, Vasso says he’ll continue to operate Pierek’s e-commerce store and will look for a new brick-and-mortar store in the spring.

As far as products go, Pierik’s Cycle carries bikes (road, mountain, urban, hybrid e-bike, specialty and kids), accessories (bags, baskets, bells, car racks, headlights, pumps, mirrors and more), clothing, bags and bicycle parts. 

“We’re going to stay online and I hope to open up a smaller shop a little bit east of here,” he says. “Something not too far from where I am right now. That may depend on what’s available and what kind of rent the landlords are asking for.” 

Vasso says customers have been supportive, with many expressing shock at the closure.

“Some come in and offer their condolences because they feel bad. I’ve had 20-25 people come in the last week and say they’re sad to see we’re closing,” he says, adding that the shop has been in its current location for 30 years.

But while the store has faced challenges, Vasso says he’s optimistic about the future.

“You got to roll with the punches and keep going.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to include more information.

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