What's the best way to let the world know that your shop sells bicycles? You could try a sign, of course, but that's been done. Farradhof Altlandsberg, a Canadian-owned used bike shop in Altlandsberg, Germany, took a different approach: it hung actual bicycles on its exterior walls.
Pete Horstmann, the shop's owner, is from B.C., and he told Strombo.com that it all started with an off-hand comment.
"We had a large amount of trade-ins collected over time that were only worth the metal," Horstmann told Strombo.com via email, "a large pile that didn't really look good."
"An employee asked me one day, while I was on my way home, what we should do about it and I simply replied 'mir egal, häng die scheiß an der wand,' which means 'I don't care, hang the s*** on the wall.'"
The next day, he spoke to the employee again: "we both thought about it and said 'why not?'"
Initially, the store put about 40 bikes on the wall. As of now, they're up to 212, with no room (and no plans) for more. They are considering turning some of their scrap bikes into sculptures to go outside the store, though.
It seems the unique exterior helped with sales: the business increased its takings by about 40 per cent over a period when the bicycle market in Germany declined by 22 per cent, Horstmann said.
As for what he learned from the wall display and sales bump, he told Strombo.com this:
"Don't overthink some things. Just do it if it feels right. Believe me, nobody was more surprised about the effect that the wall has had than we were — and still are."