LAKE FOREST, CA BRAIN) Friday July 6 2012 8:04 AM MT— Close on the heels of closing his longtime store in the coastal city of Dana Point, Revo Cycles owner Darrin Duhamel is shutting down his second location inland just off Interstate 5 in Lake Forest.
Duhamel opened the 11,000-square-foot shop in October 2010 and laid out the interior with miniature concept stores for his primary bike brands, each of which had its own four-walled suite. Bike brands include Focus, Cannondale, Yeti, BH, Kona and Orbea.
Revo posted a going-out-of-business notice and sale on its website, revocycles.com, but a posting on the shop’s Facebook fan page says the shop is moving to a new location in Tustin and liquidating inventory to ease the move.
Reached by phone on Thursday, however, Duhamel said it may be time to leave bicycle retailing. He said that his landlord in Lake Forest failed to fulfill promises of improving the retail center’s visibility, and any hope for assistance disappeared after the owner recently entered bankruptcy proceedings.
“Now it looks like it’s going to go back to the bank, and the bank’s not going to do a damn thing, so within 60 days this center should be completely empty,” he said. “If I had known the financial condition of the landlord before I moved in, I wouldn’t have done it and spent all this money.”
Duhamel also expressed frustration with the industry. “Every day that ticks by, I’m less and less enamored by this industry, and more interested in doing something else,” he said. “I came from 20 years in the corporate world running a large high-tech operation, and for 10 years now I’ve been beating my head against the wall with the lack of sophistication in this industry. It’s reached the point where I’m not all that interested in playing the game any longer.”
In the spring, Duhamel shuttered his location in Dana Point, citing a breakdown in negotiations on a lease renewal. He had done business in Dana Point since 2002.
Bike Religion, a retailer with stores in Irvine and Newport Beach, has since taken over Revo’s former space in Dana Point. Bike Religion’s build-out continues there, but the shop went ahead with a soft opening in mid-June, said co-owner John Tzinberg. A grand opening is targeted for late August.
“The coffee shop is taking a little longer than initially planned and we’re still waiting on some fixtures, but you can’t be closed this time of year,” Tzinberg said.
Despite his misgivings about the industry, Duhamel said he might return someday, though as a vendor instead of a retailer.
“If I don’t open up another store, I’ll probably roll out some software solutions for the industry in the next six to 12 months that I’ve developed over the last several years,” he said. “So I’ll be back to help other retailers out to improve their operations.
“But I don’t think I ever want to be a retailer again. Not in this industry.”