J&P Cycles Prepares for Sturgis Rally

Jul 16, 2013 10:38 AM  By

JP_Cycles_Sturgis_2For some retailers, a pop-up store is key around the holiday shopping season or in hopes of opening up your brand to a new audience. But for J&P Cycles, which runs a pop-up store every year during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, it means a $1 million boost in sales.

J&P Cycles has had a presence at the annual Sturgis, ND motorcycle rally for several years. It all started when founder and owner, John Parham, began selling parts out of a van in the 1980’s according to Wayne Maiers, distribution director. Then roughly 15 years ago the motorcycle parts and accessory retailer purchased property in Sturgis.

While an auto parts store and dealership rent the property for most of the year, J&P Cycles take it over the first two weeks every August and transforms it into a showroom/store front chock full of anything a biker would need while on the road.

According to Maiers, the showroom consists of nearly 15,000 SKUs fulfilled by their own Anamosa, IA warehouse or through several vendors. The SKUs include motorcycle parts, tires, engine components and seats. “We basically will be selling everything you need to build a bike,” Maiers said.

Employees at the pop-up store, Maiers said, consists of roughly 15 to 20 Sturgis-area temps, along with already existing J&P Cycles employees who work the POS systems, retail floor, stockroom, and fulfillment operations.

JP_Cycles_SturgisJ&P Cycles uses Manhattan Associates’ Manhattan SCALE product suite to support the distribution process at both the IA warehouse and inside the pop-up store. According to Manhattan Associates product management director Darryl Barr, Manhattan SCALE gives J&P Cycle real-time access to inventory in both locations. Barr said this helps make sure J&P Cycles has the right products, in the right place, at the right time.

“J&P Cycles is able to fulfill the need of the customer regardless of their location,” Barr said.

If a product is not available at the rally, Maiers said, the customer has the option of taking the product with them or having it shipped at no additional cost.  If a product that is not offered at the pop-up store, J&P Cycles will ship it from its warehouse at no extra cost.

Planning for what inventory that will stock the shelves at the pop-up, Maiers said, is generally decided on what is popular on its website and catalog and based on what was sold at previous Sturgis rallies. The retailer, he said, supplies the pop-up with approximately $1 million in inventory, which is delivered in three to four semi trucks.

J&P cycles promote the rally, Maiers said, through ads on the website, flyers throughout the location sites, and in emails to their customers.

Maiers said by having pop-up store at the rally has not only boosted customer engagement but also sales. While they average about $1 to $1.3 million is sales in just two weeks, Maiers said the increased visibility could also be playing a part in its overall boost in web sales. According to Maiers, 38% of J&P Cycles came from the web in 2012, and in 2013 50% of its sales came from the website.