Innovation pays off for Swords bike shop
Richies Bike Store on Main Street in Swords will open on Monday for the first time since the government ordered all such retailers to close as part of attempts to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But store manager Billy Keating said that, even with the doors closed, business tripled or quadrupled in the period due to an innovative entrepreneurial spirit.
“We asked people to drop their bikes off at a parking lot in the area,” he says. “We then pick it up, fix it and bring it back. We operate a contactless payment system and it’s same day withdrawal so it worked out really well.
That being said, Mr. Keating will be happy to reopen the shop. He says the store spent €1,000 on various gear in preparation.
“We needed signs telling people where to line up and where to stand to comply with social distancing measures,” he says. “We will only be allowing a maximum of three customers in the store at any one time, whereas normally when it is busy at least we can expect to have 15-20 people inside.”
Keating expects business to be booming on Monday.
“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since we closed,” he said. “A lot of people have been waiting since day one. Monday will be like Saint-Étienne for us.
Keating estimates business will be three to four times a normal day outside of lockdown and, had social distancing measures not been necessary, he estimates it would still be up to 10 times more than that.