Mystery Shoppers Wanted for Bike Belles Programme
As part of its bid to get more women cycling sustainable transport charity Sustrans is calling on women across the UK to take to the high streets and mystery shop their local cycle stores to test their female-friendliness. The charity believes that the bike trade could be doing more to help the 79 per cent of women who don't cycle by making their shops and products more attractive to women. So it is asking women to visit their local bike shops to assess factors such as the approachability of the sales staff, the range of products on offer and the appearance of the shop.
Shoppers can log their experiences (anonymously if they prefer) on the Sustrans Bike Belles website www.bikebelles.org.uk Their observations and suggestions will be passed back to the bike trade who are already looking at ways to reach the un-tapped female market. Melissa Henry, Sustrans' Communications Director explains:
"There are many reasons why women don't cycle, from concerns over safety to feeling too self conscious. While the bike trade excels at promoting to the experienced cyclist who knows what they are looking for it, may be a bit more off-putting for women who are new to the whole experience. If women feel comfortable in a bike shop they are more likely to want to buy something and get out on two wheels."
Geoff Giddings of Raleigh says:
"Raleigh has in the last year seen the growth in product aimed at both the female enthusiast and the mass cycling market. We identified where we needed to change and now have a female graphic designer to ensure our brands are both practical and appealing to the female consumer. "
Peter Skelton of retailer Cycles UK adds:
"We have started to create female specific areas in our shops where all women's bikes, clothing and accessories can be displayed together. Basically what it boils down to is treating female cyclists as almost a separate customer base with their own needs and requirements rather than just giving them the same products and services as male cyclists but painting it pink."
Everyone contributing their ideas to Sustrans before 21 June will be included in a prize draw to win a highly desireable floral shopping bag style bike pannier from Basil.
Further information: www.bikebelles.org.uk