We recently asked Has Wiggle just beaten Chain Reaction Cycles to the top spot? which covered the 2013 financial reports of both Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles and showed that Wiggle (£168 million turnover) was now the top dog and Chain Reaction Cycles (£156 million turnover) is no longer the number one.
An Online Scandal in the Making
On December 2. a press release was published titled:
JONCKERS Partners with Chain Reaction Cycles to Create Customized Solutions for Market Expansion
So far so good and there a lot of exciting word use; “experienced tremendous growth”, “rapidly growing market economy”, “quick time-to-market” and “customized solutions for global adaptation.” If you are wondering what Jonckers do, it takes a bit of reading between the exciting terminology to discover they do translations.
However it appears that Jonckers either knows something that the rest of the world doesn’t, or as a brand new service partner hasn’t been updated, or may simply be using different metrics to classify CRC as the world’s largest online bike store.
I assume that the claim, ‘The World’s Largest’ reflects the annual turnover rather than the size of the inventory. Let’s assume that they have new intel and current turnover has increased beyond that of Wiggle (although Wiggle would not freely share this information any earlier than required).
I enquired with the Press Contact for Jonckers, Elena Rees who did not respond. I asked if the claim is justified based on turnover, alternatively which data is used to back this up. I also enquired about the role of Jonckers in helping CRC expand into Eastern Europe.
Wiggle on the other hand call themself the UK’s number one online bike shop and there are other contenders for top spot but with slight variations. CRC is based in Ballyclare, Northern Island which is still counted as the United Kingdom.
You may be the biggest, but we are the largest!
While R&A Cycles of Brooklyn in New York, USA claim to be “The World’s Largest Cycle Store”. They are around the corner from Gotham and Toga who call them “New York City oldest and largest bike shops”. Wheel World Bike Shop in California, USA call themself “one of the earliest and biggest online bike shops”
Everyday Tourist Blog has an amusing anecdote, emailing R&A Cycles enquiring about their claim he received the response from Sales Rep, Philip Cabbad, “[we are] the largest Professional bike shop in the world. Not in square feet as there are shops who are larger but they carry mostly bikes under $2,000 in value. As the world’s largest Professional bike shop, we have on display we have over 50 bikes with an average price tag over $4,000, with 800 frames and over 500 bikes in stock”
In the same blog article, Darrell Elliot of Bow Cycle in Calgary, Canada (a pretty big store with 24,000 squre feet retail space) shares a few truths in discussing the claims, “I think when you are looking for the world’s largest bike shop, world’s best bike shop, etc., you need to have some parameters or guidelines as to what qualifies the shop as the largest or the best. Is it square footage? Overall sales figures? Bike sales? Parts sales? Accessory sales? Internal labor sales? External labor sales? Clothing sales? Bike fitting sales? Service school sales? Event sales? Number of employees? Community involvement? Industry involvement? What does it take to be the world’s largest/best bike store?”
Making grand claims is exciting, it may even motivate some customers but for me it is a case of the Judean’s Peoples Front and the People’s Front of Judea.