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Arragon's Cycles talks about Best Small Shops competition commendation

Posted on 12 Nov 2019

Best Small ShopsArragon's Cycles have now been commended in the Best Small Shops competition for both 2018 and 2019. Sarah Graham, owner of Arragon's Cycles, has spoken out about how the competition has affected the business and how they continuously strive for greatness.

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) and celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK's High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities.

This year two bike shops were commended in the competition, a great representation of the cycling industry that will help to draw more attention to IBDs across the UK.

Arragon's Cycle Centre

Located in Penrith, Cumbria, Arragon's Cycle Centre offers cycle hire, a Shimano Service Centre offering emergency repairs, and specialist wheel build. It is a family run business, established for over 40 years but now with a brand new shop - one of the North's largest. Arragons Cycle Centre were also shortlisted in the 2018 Best Small Shops competition and have once again in 2019 been recognised as a true independent family shop that have remained at the heart of their community by supporting events and entertaining local clubs.

Sarah from Arragons Cycle Centre said about the event "It was great to be in a room sharing business ideas with such an enthusiastic and forward thinking group. For the past two years, we've left the event full of new ideas & thinking of things we can do for the next year in order to qualify for the shortlist once again!"

Arragons Cycles were nominated for the competition by a member of their team who believed that they were a worthy winner, something that gave Sarah "a great sense of pride".

Sarah goes on to speak about the difficult conditions that are affecting nearly all independent retailers at the moment: "We strive to keep improving, adapting to change and making sure we have a product & service that our customers want. It isn't easy, in fact, it has become increasingly more difficult in recent years, for all the reasons we are all already acutely aware. We have to work so much harder, for many more hours, for less reward. Things need to change on the High Street and they need to change much quicker than they have to date...."

When asked about how the competition has affected Arragons Cycles Sarah said "It is these such events that reignite the spark for why we still do this day in, day out & gives us some light at the end of the tunnel.

"It is these such events that reignite the spark for why we still do this day in, day out & gives us some light at the end of the tunnel." 

I believe that the mood is changing, with customers returning to the High Street in support of small business. People understand value we add to their towns, they appreciate the service & experience we offer above a couple of clicks on a screen, as well as the commitment to after sales and ensuring the care goes on way after the purchase.

It gives shops like mine faith that by being part of the community, having pride to keep their high streets professional, attractive and a place that people want to be is what is paving the way to a return to the general public supporting the High Street and valuing more than just cost alone."

Rides On Air

Rides on Air in Wallingford was also commended in the Best Small Shops competition 2019, a bike and accessories shop that covers all disciplines from children's bikes to adults including disabled cycles and the latest craze of eBikes. They regularly take part in community events that benefit local charities while promoting the benefits of shopping at IBDs.

The names and details of the other 23 shops that were shortlisted can be found on the Indie Retail news page.

For more information about the Best Small Shops competition please visit the Indie Retail website or visit their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.