The Peddler Bike Shop has kicked off construction in its new building and is expected to open in May 2014.
The shop will be moving to the former YMCA building located at 3548 Walker Ave. It will be housed in the former natatorium area of the building. The estimated cost to complete this project is not known.
“The new shop will have a better layout and will be more conducive for the business,” Court Percer, the current manager, said.
The Peddler Bike Shop has been a part of the University District for more than 40 years. The shop was located at 3573 Southern Ave. until it moved to its current location at 575 S. Highland St.
This expansion will be one of the first projects of the new Walker Avenue Streetscape Project that will begin at the end of the year.
“We are supporting the re-development of Walker Avenue,” Percer said. “It’s like pre- redevelopment.”
Contractors have begun filling the pool and laying concrete that was once in the natatorium of the old building. The roof is also being replaced because of the harsh chemicals that leach out and cause corrosion in some of the metal materials.
The Peddler caters to everyone with its bikes range from kids to advance racers. Since many of its customers are students at the University of Memphis who come to rent, buy or get repairs, the new shop's location closer to campus will be beneficial.
“We’re really excited to be closer to campus,” Percer said.
Percer believes the new store will increase the amount of customers that visit because they will be able to access the store more easily.
“It is a major plus to be in an easily accessible place,” he said. “We support walkers—the people who don’t have cars."
Student Daniel Glover agrees that expanding the store is a great idea for the bike shop.
“Their selections of bikes are great but I think they will be able to add more to their selection once they expand,” Glover said.
According to Percer, the new location will have a slight increase in floor models, increasing from 125 bikes to 140 bikes.
“We (customers) will also have more space to move around the floor with the bikes,” Glover said.
What customers will not see is an increase in employees. The Peddler plans to keep the same amount of staff it currently has.
“We probably will eventually hire new people if we see a need for it,” said Andy Jamison, employee of The Peddler Bike Shop.
As time gets closer, the shop will begin publishing the opening of the new store. As of now, the opening is only word-of-mouth.
Many customers like Michael Bowen are unaware of the new store’s opening.
“It will be a surprise to a lot of people,” Bowen said.
The Peddler has previously been remodeled, and this move will be its third round of remodeling.
“It would be nice to start with a clean slate,” Percer said.
The Peddler has two other locations in the Mid-South, including Southaven and Germantown.