Ren's Biking Blog
George White's Now Open In Bolton
Blog Date - 22 August 2011
You'd think a guy like me with his finger on the pulse of motorcycling would know of a new large motorcycle clothing shop opening in my home town. You would wouldn't you? So it came as a surprise when a couple of weeks back I heard of this amazing opening event with brolly dollies, super cheap gear and more razzamataz than a cabaret night and it was all going on at the new shop in Bolton. Well, no-one told me until it was all over.
I sulked for a few days then yesterday I finally went for a look. The new shop is situated just on the edge of Bolton's town centre on prime retail land. My initial thought is of surprise at the choice of location, I thought an out-of-town unit with cheap rents and rates would have made sense, most motorcyclists typically have motorcycles to travel to shops. Still, who am I to comment, I'm not running a successful chain of shops like George Whites so they must know what they're doing.
The shop is in a large retail unit typically inhabited by sportswear chains or electrical retail chains. In my experience this is huge for a bike clothing shop. Inside all is very simple with vast racks against the interior walls, clothes racks full of jackets across the open floor and helmets to one side near the window. There's a selection of Motrax and similar products near the checkout and currently that's about your lot. Outside there's a decent size car park and on this Sunday lunchtime 30 or 40 bikers hang around eating bacon butties from the burger van outside. It feels quite fresh and new which is good, yet it also feels unestablished like it may be here today, but gone tomorrow.
All plain and simple, but hey they've just opened. Plenty of stock.
The tales of amazing bargains are what has brought me here. There's 1 rack full of jackets marked at £20 and another at £30. Other than that a cursory look at the rest of the prices around the shop tells me they're all about what I'd expect to pay elsewhere, save for a few 10%'s here and 15%'s there. There's a few really cheap helmets and some other bargains but these seem to be clearance items. I'm not overly impressed, but then I was looking for quality brands at pocket money prices, I was doomed to fail. It's fine, it's good Bolton has somewhere new to get bike gear from and I wish them well. There's just nothing "outstanding" here yet.
I did however spend some money. On the £20 rack was a simple and basic Lewis nylon jacket that was warranted waterproof and should be fine for summer use. At £20 I thought it's worth a punt so I made my purchase. As I paid I asked if they would be stocking motorcycles too in the future. The counter guy seemed very evasive in his answer, maybe, possibly, depending... I guess KJM's control of the North West's motorcycle retail market is very tight. I mentioned this and he flustered more ifs, buts and maybes.
There are plenty of shops in this area, but most of them are run by KJM's Keith Mason. A man of mystery and not without some skeletons in his motorcycle dealing history. Just do a quick google search for kjm keith mason to learn both good and bad things about him and his group. My problem is that we are at risk of having a monopoly in the North West and I hope George White's can and will stock bikes in direct competition to KJM's growing empire.
As seen from the outside, it's a big place.
Brian said :-
One more bites the dust.....
cotty said :-
Well that didnt last long.
Adam F said :-
It's a big shop and therefore feels empty and low in stock. The clothing and Helmets are very reasonable for some top brands. Go have a look if you're on a budget .
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