Bike shop owner shares success of first month

After being named the winner of the Downtown Main Street Retail Challenge, Andrew Petersen has seen his new store, Red Wing Bicycle Co. & Outfitter, become a success within its first month.

Last month, DTMS awarded Petersen an incentive package worth $40,000 to get his business up and running. Now that a little less than a month has passed, he commented on how his store has held up.

“Business is going really well. The response has been extremely positive,” Petersen said. “Fortunately with the whole retail challenge, it really funneled you into having a really tight, clear plan. We were able to execute and check off the list, we were up and running within four weeks when we found out we could get this grant money. It was a really quick process.”

Luckily for Petersen, his store opened on one of the busiest weekends in Red Wing — River City days. This was a perfect time for Petersen to open the doors to his bike shop. Even with catching the tail end of construction, Petersen didn’t think the store was too affected by it.

“People still came in whether it was noisy and dusty outside or quiet and clear,” he said. “I think people were just excited to come in and see the new space.”

Red Wing hasn’t been able to keep an outdoor shop open for tourists and locals in the past. In 2003 there was the Outdoor Store, followed by the Bike Shop, then Petersen’s previous bike store, Wheelhouse Cycles in 2013. With another chance to reinvent a store in Red Wing for the outdoor community, Peterson seems to be on the right track.

Red Wing Bicycle Co. & Outfitter offers rental options for certain products, like bikes for people visiting the area and also has equipment for outdoor activities each season. Petersen said there is a popular demand of bikes, but that the store also has hiking gear, winter sporting equipment, like snowshoes and ski wax, kayaks, parts and accessories and canoes via Wenonah Canoe. Spring and summer will continue to be the more popular seasons, but winter still holds a strong demand.

The store is lined with equipment on each side when first walking in and near the back is a larger section for a variety of bicycles. If customers request certain items that aren’t in store, Petersen can often order them through his catalogue.

Looking towards the future, Petersen hopes to have the last few things he needs to get done buttoned up and organized.

“The big plan right now is just finalizing where everything is going, get the store layout and the product selection figured out,” he said. “We’re still figuring that out to meet the demand of consumers.”

—Kit Murray, Red Wing Republican Eagle Reporter