The opening of the ASG Concept Store in Paarl this month will give cyclists visiting the Boland region a chance to choose from a wide-ranging stock of bikes and accessories.
The concept store will be managed by well-known South African professional cyclist Hanco Kachelhoffer, who said they would be having a “soft opening on November 21”.
“A concept store offers shoppers multiple types of items with one centralised theme,” said Kachelhoffer.
“Our main focus will be to showcase the brands we distribute ourselves, such as Pinarello, Ellsworth, Wilier, Rudy Project, F-Tech, High5 and Sidi.”
The outlet will have staff members with in-depth knowledge of the stock on offer, while Kachelhoffer said they would also aim to provide diligent after-sales support.
“We have some of the country’s top cyclists available in the store ready to help with advice, bike setups and coaching.”
Among them is his wife An-Li, who won the SA women’s road title this year and competed in the Rio Olympic Games. She will add her knowledge and experience to the ASG Bike Club.
“From riding with club groups to coaching riders, she will be as busy off the bike as on it getting riders to the next level,” he said.
Another key objective will be to provide first-rate servicing of bikes, which will be done by experienced bike technicians Leon Nel and Paul Gibbings.
Kachelhoffer, himself, and pro colleague HB Kruger will assist customers with bike setups using the German Smartfit Q5 bike setup system.
An extension of ASG Sports, Kachelhoffer said they had always wanted to create a space where their brands could be showcased in an exclusive way.
“With the ASG Events office already in Paarl, it made sense to set up the showroom here as well.”
He said they encouraged all store owners to bring their customers to help them decide between the bike brands and accessory options that were available from ASG.
Kachelhoffer said ASG Group chief executive Heinrich Dannhauser felt the concept store was a natural progression in the ASG business model.
“The cycling industry globally is going through some testing times and as a group we are trying to find the best response to these challenges.”
He said ASG would take the approach of trying to do things differently to offer a unique experience for their customers.
“We’ve tried to take some best examples from other stores across the globe.
“We will also offer many products that will only be seen in our shop. We will always have the limited edition bikes, shoes, glasses and more on display.”
Kachelhoffer said he was excited about the new venture.
“I’ve always been involved in the business side of cycling. I know the industry and I have a great team of people from ASG who make this all work smoothly.”
He felt the expertise he had gained from being involved in cycling would add value.
“I know most brands and have done bike setups since 2006, so I think this sort of knowledge can give a customer the peace of mind when he or she is trying to make the right decision.”
Kachelhoffer said they were situated at the Laborie Centre, from where they would have weekly club rides.