Orbea to Build Concept Store in Little Rock

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 15, 2010 12:00 am  

Little Rock cyclists are by summer going to have a unique laboratory at their disposal, courtesy of Orbea.

The elite Spanish bike manufacturer's headquarters for the Americas, in North Little Rock, is looking for retail space for "a true high-end bicycle concept retail store," Tony Karklins, the managing director for Orbea USA, confirmed to Whispers.

After missing out on a location on President Clinton Avenue in downtown Little Rock, Orbea is still seeking a 3,000- to 4,000-SF retail space near the city's urban core and cycling center. (Presumably, that means ready access to the Arkansas River Trail, which brings North Little Rock space into consideration.) The goal is to install a retail shop to showcase Orbea's coming products before any other store on the continent, both to test them in the Little Rock market and to display them for visiting American Orbea retailers.

Not only will you be able to lust after the newest bikes, you'll be able to do so smugly satisfied that cyclists in less-hip cities - Portland, Ore., or Chicago or Boston, e.g. - won't even know what they're missing, yet.

The store will mirror bike shops of larger towns in that it will house a coffee bar (for which Karlins is seeking a dedicated barista). "This is going to be one of the cooler stores in Little Rock," he said. "We dream this is going to be a place where all the group rides will want to start or finish."

Once it gets rolling, the concept store will absorb Orbea's outlet store in Hillcrest. That store on lower Kavanaugh Boulevard is transitioning from an outlet shop to a neighborhood retail shop by early May. It'll then sell new bikes until the new store opens its doors.

 

 

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