Applications OPEN!: America's Best Bike Shops 2019
Apply now to earn your place among the nation’s best independent specialty bicycle retailers
Tomorrow, the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) will kick off the 2019 America’s Best Bike Shops (ABBS) program by opening the official application window. Now in its seventh year, ABBS is a peer-evaluated award program that recognizes exemplary bicycle stores that meet the highest performance standards in the industry.
“The ABBS program is as much about the application process as it is the award,” said Brandee Lepak, NBDA president. “The highest-scoring shops earn the America’s Best designation, but everyone who applies gains insight and learns ways to improve their business. And in keeping with the philosophy of leading retailers to excellence, this year our board decided that all applicants must become NBDA members.”
Businesses that earn the distinction of America’s Best, the most significant credential of its type for independent bicycle dealers, receive an official certificate, marketing signage for their shop, and digital marketing materials for their websites and social media.
The 2019 NBDA America's Best Bike Shop application consists of joining the NBDA (if not already a member), a mystery shopper evaluation, providing photos of shops’ interiors and exteriors, and online submission of questions about their shop that help owners examine their businesses from a new perspective.
Lepak said that this year, the NBDA revised the ABBS application to include questions that will raise customer service standards in applicants’ businesses and be used to train staff.
These questions, which derive from the association’s well-regarded Profitability Project (P2) program, augment previous application questions that gauge shop operations, staff knowledge, marketing excellence, community involvement, local and national bicycle advocacy, and shop appearance. Answers are evaluated by a selection committee and tabulated into a score.
Another key component of the ABBS evaluation is a report from a mystery shopper. As in previous years, applicants will start the ABBS application process by registering online and paying a modest fee for third-party secret shopper services for at least one of their store locations. The rate is $125 per requested location, with a 10% discount for 3 or more requested locations.
The 2019 application window closes July 31, and winners will be notified by email, as well as announced online and by press release, on October 1st. In the absence of the Interbike trade show this year, the NBDA is looking into options for a date and location to host a celebratory America’s Best Bike Shops awards ceremony and reception.
“Our vision with ABBS, as with all of our programs, is to lead bicycle retailers to excellence,” summarized Lepak. “We look forward to recognizing America’s Best Bike Shops this Fall.”
Interested specialty bicycle retailers may begin the NBDA ABBS application process by clicking here. For more information about the program, please visit the America’s Best Bike Shops section of the NBDA website, and for more information about the NBDA, please visit www.nbda.com.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) has represented specialty bicycle dealers in the United States since 1946. The non-profit association offers numerous programs for dealers, with an emphasis on leading retailers to excellence through education, research, communication and advocacy. Some of its programs include: Profitability Project (P2), a Mastermind group for bicycle shop owners, the America’s Best Bike Shops credentialing program, and mechanics’ training through Barnett’s Bicycle Institute.
NBDA member benefits include credit card processing and shipping discount programs, access to an online dealers’ forum, and the Outspokin’ newsletter. The NBDA additionally has forged partnerships with customer survey, payroll, and website service providers. Annual dues are $195 for retailers; $125 for mobile bike shops; $850 for companies associated with the bicycle industry with over $500,000 per year in sales; and $550 for smaller companies and industry sales representatives.