The Appletons know bikes and bike racing. Jeff’s grandpa was a state champion rider, and his dad was a national champion. According to Jeff, that meant he was destined for the Olympics, but life didn’t quite pan out that way.
Instead, Jeff’s followed through with the family tradition of owning bike stores – the incredibly successful Giant Perth being the latest in a series of Appleton owned and operated bike businesses (Jeff sold one of his suburban bike shops to his sister – talk about keeping it in the family!).
Thanks to the generations before him, Jeff grew up in bike shops – they’re in his blood.
As a kid he could be found in his dad’s shop tinkering about, helping wherever he could. His passion for actual bike riding was more of a slow burn – it wasn’t until he was about 15 that he started to show an interest in taking bikes out of the store and onto the road. His dad didn’t push him and it’s an approach Jeff is happy to adopt with his own five kids – wait for them to develop the interest all on their own and then see it bloom into a genuine passion.
And passion is definitely needed in this business.
Since moving into the city proper, the pace has definitely stepped up a notch for Jeff and his team. In Jeff’s words, you’ve got to get it right, fast. City customers are switched-on and know what they want. They come into the store with smart phones in hand, having already researched whatever it is they need, and they need it now.
“We’d be eaten alive if we didn’t know our stuff. Having a city store pushes my team and me to know more. Our customers make us better – their level of knowledge and their experience pushes us,” says Jeff.
Being the Giant concept store for Perth city, the shop is of course 100 per cent Giant. Given their location, there’s a real focus on commuter bikes but Jeff is honest when he confesses that you never really know from one day to the next what people will be after.
For this reason Jeff and has team have had to become adept at not only stocking enough of the right product, but being very clever about visually merchandising it. With some of the highest rental prices in Australia, leasing shops in Perth city is not for the faint-hearted. Not many can afford to make mistakes. It’s a fine line between trying to showcase as much as possible to a discerning market, and avoiding that feeling of retail clutter. Jeff says Giant has had a big part to play in helping nail this formula – they understand where the Perth market is going and products like the latest in the TCR range, Shimano new releases and Garmin gadgets are all super strong performers.
See also: 6800k's, 10 states, 18 days, 1 kit The pull of Giant is big in Perth.
Locals regard the brand as quality, but affordable, and know they can rely on the name as well as the store’s expertise. It’s in part why they keep coming back. That, and the fact the shop is literally around many an office corner. Commuting into town and didn’t expect it to be so chilly? No worries – head to Giant Perth and grab some arm warmers for the return home. Riding in and notice a few unusual noises coming from the bike? Drop it off right now at Giant Perth and pick it up on your way home.
A big bonus for the store is Giant’s sponsorship of the legendary Cape to Cape. Store Manager Andrew Lumley and Head Mechanic Brent Cochran are strong mountain bikers (Jeff’s more into Ironman triathlon these days), and the team is looking forward to heading to this year’s event and seeing many of their customers out getting dirty. Giant Perth is the only bike retail outlet allowed to set up at Cape to Cape and so the guys are usually flat out helping with mechanicals and selling emergency spare parts or accessories. Jeff loves the atmosphere and the fact this event attracts MTBers from all corners of the globe.
They’re only two years into their new city home but the Giant Perth team is settling in well. Drop in, check it out and keep the boys on their toes.