A few weeks ago, Seattle-based action sports and outdoor retailer, evo, announced its expansion to Denver. The retailer is opening a third location this Fall by way of purchasing Denver businesses Edgeworks and The Bicycle Doctor.
Evo is partnering with Edgeworks and The Bicycle Doctor in the near term to grow their ski, snowboard, and bike service with free local pickup for e-commerce orders.
Later this summer they will renovate the space and open a new evo retail and service storefront that brings evo to the Colorado market and showcases the service-first focus and the more than 25 years' experience of the Edgeworks/Bicycle Doctor teams.
We spoke with evo Founder and CEO, Bryce Phillips, to learn more about the expansion and why the time is right to grow evo’s business.
Why is evo expanding at this time, during a tough time at retail?
Bryce Phillips: Our stores in Seattle and Portland are doing really well and we see a much larger opportunity when it comes to creating extraordinary brick-and-mortar retail experiences in strategic locations across the nation and beyond.
Moreover, the relationship between the Web and our stores is really powerful when looking at how they round each other out. Retail stores deliver a 3-D experience that is fundamentally different from the Web, so we are looking to deliver these highly differentiated experiences in key locations.
Denver was a very clear fit given our established Web business there, the thriving urban culture, connection to the mountains, and because Colorado is an international icon when it comes to three of our most important categories: snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking.
Rounding it out with skate, streetwear, wake, footwear, and accessories, we are feeling very good about our entry into that market.
How will the new Denver partnerships work?
Bryce Phillips: Right now Edgeworks/The Bicycle Doctor is functioning as a “La Familia” partner where we are giving evo.com customers the opportunity to ship their order to the store for pickup and great service.
Moreover, customers can order out of the store from our large Web assortment.
Can you give us more info about the new Denver store?
Bryce Phillips: We are in the midst of remodeling the entire building where Edgeworks is and will be expanding into nearly 10,000 square feet, coming out as “evo” this fall.
We are re-purposing a very old, beautiful building. The space is transforming by the day and it’s going to be amazing.
Just like in Seattle and Portland, we will be creating a community center, a place to come together and do so much more than transact. We’ll have events and an art gallery, and will be partnering with local non-profits that work with underprivileged youth, including SOS and Chill.
We seem to recall evo used some innovative financing mechanisms before. How is evo financing the expansion?
Bryce Phillips: This one was pretty straightforward. We used cash for the acquisition and implemented a financial structure that aligns Edgeworks' owner, Matt Hupperts, and evo as we look to build something special together in the Denver market.
evo has an interesting business model. Can you tell us more about how your business works, and why this model has helped evo continue to grow during a difficult time for retail?
Bryce Phillips: Most importantly, we believe that the focuses on experience and community are key. I realize that “experience” seems to becoming a bit of a cliché buzzword as customers become less interested by the models of the past where it was all about stamping out as many stores, as quickly as possible.
That said, it’s exactly what people want and what we ourselves have a passion for. From a high degree of expertise and service, to great design, being rooted in values that resonate with our customers, discovering incredible brands and products, the list goes on.
These all make up the “experience” that we are looking to deliver and we know will drive our business in the right direction.
Our recent successes are a result of all of the above - woven through both our Web and store experiences - coupled with strong analytics and operations.