Cycling entrepreneur plans new bike shop on Broad Avenue

When choosing the location for his new bike shop, Pedaltown Bicycle Co., entrepreneur Clark Butcher scouted spaces all over the city and surrounding suburbs before eventually deciding to wait for something to open up closer his own Victory Bicycle Studio on Broad Avenue.

“I didn’t want to be in the car all day driving between locations, so I decided to hold tight until something nearby came available,” said Butcher, who opened Victory eight years ago in the Cooper/Young area and then moved the shop to Broad Ave. in September 2011.

Pedaltown will specialize in entry-level bikes and will lean heavily towards kid’s bikes, while next door Victory will remain focused on higher-end bikes for cycling enthusiasts.

“Victory has grown tremendously over the years and continues to show steady growth, and I don’t want to get away from that,” said Butcher, who opened the shop eight years ago and has built it into a $1.7 million company since. “This new shop is going to be good for the city, good for cycling, and good for the Binghampton neighborhood, one of the most underserved communities in Memphis.”

Permits were just filed for Pedaltown, and construction is expected to start in two weeks on the 2,100-square-foot space. Renovation costs are estimated at $75,000, and overall costs to open the shop (including inventory) should be near $150,000.

“It’s really a shell space right now, and we’re about to turn it into retail. So we’ll be creating maintenance shop rooms, storage rooms, the check-out counter, flat wall, and bicycle displays,” said Butcher. “It’s a substantial amount of work of framing and woodwork that’s going to happen.”

Butcher listened to his customers and is responding to the demand by opening this new store. Pedaltown will not promote any particular brand, instead focusing on a juried selection of bikes and top-notch customer service.

“Our level of service is simply on a different level here. It’s what we do,” he said. “So many shops will go out and tout what lines they’ll be carrying. Pedaltown will have a slimmed down approach. There’s only going to be 15 bikes total on the floor. We’ll have a bike for meeting every metric, whether it’s a toddler, youth or adult.”

The average adult bike will cost around $350, and the kid’s bikes will start at under $100.

“Everything is positioned between a department store and a bike shop. However, the level of service you’re going to get is the same as what you get at Victory if you were spending $5,000 or $10,000 on a bike,” said Butcher, who also co-founded the Carpenter Art Garden Community Bike Shop.

Pedaltown will employ three full-time and two-part time employees. Butcher hopes to be open by late May.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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