Dreaming of a Trikke infomercial
Our local dealer spotlight takes us to the sunshine state to meet the Trikke world’s best-selling local Trikke dealer of all time, a brick-and-mortar store that has sold an estimated 10,000 Trikkes. Here now, part 3 of our three-part interview with the dynamic duo behind Trikke Tampa, Andy and Jana Clark. (Or carve to parts One and Two).
TrikkeWorld Magazine: So you were voted South Tampa’s best bike shop two years in a row, beating out a 37-year-old bike shop that sells specialized bikes, as well as the local franchised Trikke store. How did you do that?
Andy Clark: Real easy. It’s not that we sell more bikes. It all boils down to quality customer service and support, taking care of the customer, being interested in their goals and helping them to obtain their goals whenever feasible. Jana and I are from Oklahoma. We’re just friendly people, can’t help it. [Laughs].
TWM: What are most people’s reaction when they walk into Street Fit 360 to buy a bike and they see the Trikke? Do you ever get people who buy a Trikke instead of a bike?
AC: Typically no. There are your bike enthusiasts and by god, they’re in love with the bike. They’re kinda interested in the Trikke, but it’s just not their thing.
TWM: So who comes into the store looking for a Trikke?
AC: We’re a destination location. That means people have heard about the Trikke or they saw somebody riding—one way or another—they found out about the Trikke and did a little research to find out if they can try one. We’ve had people drive literally from Miami or Atlanta, or people fly in specifically to come see us.
Jana Clark: The pilot from England.
AC: We had a British Airways pilot fly a 747 in here, and when he was on crew rest, his mission was to come to Trikke Tampa, so he came in and bought three Trikkes and flew ’em back to England the next day—just one of the stories out of the thousands. Trikke has really grown. Ninety-five percent of people have seen or heard of it and before, it was 95% who hadn’t heard of it.
TWM: So the Trikke Tampa store still exists online and inside Street Fit 360?
AC: Trikke has been a specific brand with us for five and a half years, three and a half years before we became a bike shop. We have to keep a separation. Our tagline for Street Fit 360 is taking fitness to street. We carry bikes, Trikkes, the Randy Ross Stepper bike, We also sell the Footbike. The Street Fit 360 is all encompassing of outdoor, human-powered vehicles.
TWM: Have you sold any Skki’s in Florida?
AC: We’ve probably sold a couple dozen Skki’s.
TWM: And you yourself enjoy the Skki?
AC: Oh, yeah. We’ve gone to the Skki Inn every year but this past year.
TWM: You, too Jana.
TWM: You were also the host of the largest group Trikke event to date, true?
AC: We had 120 registered participants for the 4th annual Florida Fun Ride in 2009. During that weekend, we also hosted and sponsored the first-ever, US adult 3CV competition for anybody who has a 3CV product. That includes that piece of junk, the carving trike [not made by Trikke Tech]. We had the 100 meter sprint, 400 meter sprint, 5K challenge, 10K challenge and an 8K team relay.
TWM: What did the winners get?
AC: We had really nice trophies and medallions made up.
TWM: How much has the slowed economy affected things?
AC: You know, the economy has had a dramatic effect, but also, the loss of the infomercial airing has had a huge impact on Trikke sales. They turned it off in November of 2009, and since then, we look at [the graphs] of our accounting reports and it just nosedives.
What we have to do is constantly stay on top of our game, keep things fresh, keep things new. That’s a tough question, five years from now. Right now, we’re taking it day by day, but I believe the economy’s gonna turn around and hopefully, the infomercial will be back up and running. We want to continue doing what we’re doing, just bigger and better.
Note: In 2011, Street Fit 360 awarded Best Bike Shop for third straight year. Read about it our story, Triple Scoop for Power Couple Behind Trikke Tampa,