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40-year-old SoCal shop set to close

Published December 26, 2012

RIVERSIDE, CA (BRAIN) — After more than four decades in business, California Cyclery & Supply Riverside Schwinn in Southern California’s Inland Empire is closing as the shop’s rented building changes ownership to become a McDonald’s.

Owner Joe Klure, whose family purchased the shop 22 years ago, is now working to liquidate some $1 million in inventory after having been caught off-guard about the building’s pending sale, which also displaces a vacuum sales and repair business.

Klure’s longtime landlord passed away four years ago at age 98, with a son then taking over her properties. It was only when inspectors, ground surveyors and utility workers showed up at the property this month that the retailer found out about the sale, which had been in the works the past few years. 

Escrow is set to close Thursday, and Klure has been unable to reach the landlord by phone. With only a month-to-month agreement rather than a long-term lease, he’s unsure when he’ll have to be out of his 6,000-square-foot space.

“The new buyer isn’t being very forthcoming either,” he said. “I had to hire an attorney but we still haven’t found out much.”

Once he clears his stock — bike brands include the Cycling Sports Group lines plus KHS, Giant, Electra and a dozen BMX lines including Cult, Kink and We the People — Klure has no plans to stay in bicycle retail. 

The struggling economy has dragged his sales down from $12,000-$20,000 a day to the $5,000-$6,000 range, he said. Also, to get into a new space in the Riverside area where he wouldn’t trample on another bike shop’s territory would raise his rent from $2,000 to around $15,000 a month, Klure noted.

An entrepreneur with multiple business interests, including jewelry sales, auto lots and security services, Klure will instead focus on businesses where he sees higher profit potential. 

“The bicycle industry has the lowest profit margin of any business I’ve ever seen,” he said.

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