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ABOUT THE BICYCLE CHAIN
The Bicycle Chain first opened its doors for business in March 1993 by buying a run down cycle shop in Bridgwater; previously called Les Wilkins Cycles.
Owners Paul and Angie Kenchington had always wanted their own business and the cycle trade provided the ideal outlet. Paul already had a great deal of retail experience, working in a Taunton bicycle shop in the 1970s, managing a large motorcycle dealership in the 1980’s and overseeing 20 stores for a major High Street PLC in the 1990’s. Cycling for fitness and riding with a young family also added an understanding of the leisure market that many specialist shop owners ignored.
Looking back 25 years it was a huge gamble to give up a well paid job with a young family to chase a dream by buying a small, dirty shop with a very poor selection of stock. Whilst the shop couldn't be made bigger all the other bits were improved especially the quality of service and trade flourished.
The rest as they say is history but it did have a great deal to do with an Orchard FM radio advertising campaign. Paul wrote the scripts and Alex and Thomas the eldest of Paul and Angie's five children spoke their lines and a very young ‘Tom’ coined the famous tag line 'Bicycle Chain YEAH'
1993: Purchased Les Wilkins Cycles, Taunton Road, Bridgwater
1994: Orchard FM radio campaign starts
1997: Opened our Taunton branch at the Bike Park, St James Street.
1998: Sold our first E-Bike, the Yamaha PAS
1999: Online with the web address www.bicyclechain.co.uk
1999: Opened our Bridgwater Superstore in the current Salmon Parade location.
2000: Opened our Taunton Superstore in the current Chip Lane location.
2004: Opened our Weston Super Mare branch in Locking Road.
2010: We proudly sponsor Ben Rockett who breaks the LEJOGLE record.
( Lands End to John O Groats and back to Lands End in 5 days 21 hrs 8 minutes.
An 1800 mile ride plus thousands of miles training and he is a very nice guy. )
2013: Trek Precision Fit Room and Fitting Jig opened in Bridgwater
2015: Opened our Weston Superstore in the current Aisecome Way location.
2016: Our son Alex appointed to the board as sales and service Director.
2017: UK agent for Allied Cycle Works carbon road bikes made in the USA.
2017: Purchased Climb On Cycles in Hereford as the long awaited 4th store
OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR CUSTOMERS
The Bicycle Chain believes in giving the best service without our customers having to pay a premium. We believe in face to face service, our experience guarantees you will get the best advice because we want everyone to enjoy cycling. Cycling has tremendous benefits for the rider, the community and the environment and our role plays a part in encouraging and developing local participation.
We very carefully select our staff to ensure both a desire to put our customers first and a thirst for cycling knowledge. Working in a cycle shop is a very challenging role so we run our own staff training programme with both internally developed systems and with our suppliers support. Our business can only work if all our staff recognise that we are all part of one team and winning comes from satisfied customers.
Our reputation is an integral part of who we are, we are a local business and we are part of the local community. We select products and brands that we are able to stand behind and our service departments are rightly proud of their skills. We accept that selling and servicing 1,000s of products a year things can go wrong and that is why Paul and Alex are always available to speak to.
The original plan, built into the business name, was to develop a small chain of cycle shops. If businesses don’t grow and develop they often wither but the complicated bit is growing whilst still retaining the original core values. To offer our customers the widest choice with competitive pricing we in turn need to be bigger customers of our suppliers. To offer our staff career advancement we need to grow so they can gain new responsibilities. To keep the all important entrepreneurial spirit alive the owners and staff need new challenges to drive excitement and innovation within the business.
As we confidently move forward into the future we believe our founding principals give us the stability to expand. As an example every new bicycle purchased from The Bicycle Chain comes with Paul and Alex’s mobile phone numbers, as the business owners we stand behind our staff, our service and the products we sell. We always have and we always will.