Wednesday, August 17, 2022
This summer, Bike Republic, Colruyt Group's chain of bike shops, is planting its flag in Brussels for the first time following the take-over of IMP Bike in Evere. Store managers Isabelle and Michel Parmentier turned IMP Bike into one of the largest and most respected bike shops in Brussels and have been doing their bit to make mobility more sustainable for many years. And they'll continue to do so under a new name: Bike Republic Evere. With 24 shops in Flanders – ten of which were added in one year - Bike Republic's expansion is going well. Bike Republic has the ambition to become the reference in the Belgian (e-)bike market, with 50 tot 60 bike shops, spread over the country. The bicycle specialist sees enormous potential in the bicycle as a solution for last-mile delivery, B2B leasing and is therefore cleverly grasping these opportunities.
Encouraging sustainable mobility in Brussels
IMP Bike's take-over in Evere is a major step – call it a milestone – in Bike Republic's history. Wim Teerlynck, director of Bike Republic: “Bike Republic’s expansion is going like clockwork, especially in Flanders. But we haven't forgotten Brussels. The last few years, a lot has happened in terms of cycling infrastructure in Brussels, making it gradually safer and more pleasant to cycle. As 'compagnon de route', we believe that we too have a role to play in the development of more sustainable mobility in Brussels. Now that IMP Bike is part of the Bike Republic family, we can really strengthen this ambition. We're therefore very proud of this take-over.”
Growth towards 50 to 60 bike shops in Belgium
Meanwhile, the revolution in the bike sector rages on. Due to longer delivery periods and shortages at certain suppliers, increases in scale and the expansion of stocks are becoming increasingly important. Bike Republic wants to keep growing towards 50 to 60 bike shops in Belgium. That is exactly why they keep looking for opportunities, particularly in the French speaking part of Belgium. “Bike Republic Evere will be our first truly bilingual shop which is a major step towards the French-speaking market in Belgium. We are aware of the big differences between the Flemish and the Walloon bike maket, but we can continue to count on the experience of Isabelle and Michel Parmentier of IMP Bike. As vice-chairperson of the Traxio Velo sector federation, Isabelle also has a good understanding of the broader context,” says Wim Teerlynck.
Family business with rich history in our Capital
IMP Bike's long history has made it a household name in the Brussels Capital Region. Today, Isabelle and Michel Parmentier are at the helm, but the story of this family business goes back a generation, to 1983 when Isabelle and Michel's mother opened a shop specialising in BMX bikes and parts. A few years later, the focus moved to mountain biking and IMP became the very first Trek dealer in Europe. When electric bikes started to become popular and turned out to be one of the solutions to the mobility problem in Brussels, this segment was also added to the collection. Successfully so: the shop has moved several times and been expanded every time. IMP Bike has been at its current location, a former BMW garage, since 2018. On the 1500 m² shop area you'll find a wide range of e-bikes, cargo bikes, longtail bikes, racing bikes and mountain bikes from great brands such as Trek, Bulls, Riese & Müller, Brompton, Urban Arrow, Kettler and Dolly.
The match with Bike Republic's values - and by extension Colruyt Group - was Isabelle and Michel Parmentier's main reason to join this chain of bike shops. Isabelle Parmentier: “We had been approached by several players on the market, but every time the click was missing. With Bike Republic, we had that click: we speak the same language, the language of bicycles. Our shop is now really part of a family, of a bigger unit which, just like IMP Bike, is based on values such as respect, job satisfaction, togetherness and a willingness to help customers. Our shop has been around since the early 1980s and has grown steadily ever since. But we never lost sight of our identity. In our workshop and showroom, we try to work sustainably and to offer opportunities to young people through training. And this is exactly what Bike Republic does with its own Bike Academy. Together with Bike Republic, we're looking to the future.”
Companies are also welcome at Bike Republic: important future for cargo bikes
Thanks to our extensive network of shops, Bike Republic has a stock of more than 10,000 bikes, including about 7,000 e-bikes. Not only private persons can come to us: companies and SMEs can also buy or lease their company bikes at Bike Republic. To support and provide a comprehensive service to directors or HR managers, Bike Republic's B2B department even puts together a customised bicycle scheme. This allows employers to boost their employees' sustainability in terms of mobility and above all make it more efficient. And in these times of very high fuel prices, this is not unimportant.
In addition, there is a very interesting market for - amongst others - cargo bikes. Wim Teerlynck clarifies: "Last mile delivery via cargo bike is on the rise, and small independent businesses are also discovering the cargo bike as an interesting means of transport for their home services. Just think of the plumber, physiotherapist or hairdresser in Brussels who come to their home and want to do this in a sustainable and efficient way, and also need to be able to transport materials. In the future, we will also respond to this much more: we have the expertise and the bicycles to do this".
Bike Republic Evere
Avenue Léon Grosjean 84/88 – 1140 Evere
02 / 705 38 63
Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.