New location puts Cruisin’ 66 closer to its customers
Cruisin’ 66 owner Nan Woodsome had been seeing motorcycle tourist traffic to her store “drop off considerably” in recent years. Located in Springfield, Mo., the dealership sits 30 minutes north of Branson and 45 minutes north of Arkansas, known as riding hot spots.
But it’s location in the heart of Springfield prevented many of those potential customers from taking the time to make the trek off the highway grid, so Woodsome decided the time was right to move closer to the riders. In April, the boxes were packed, the bikes were moved, and Cruisin’ 66 opened at its new location in Ozark, Mo., that provides highway frontage with easy on/off highway access.
“We had directional billboards to our store off all the major highways around Springfield, but we felt that during the last few years the motorcycle tourist traffic to our store had dropped off considerably due to the fact that no one wanted to come into the city and deal with the traffic hassles,” said Woodsome, who spent nearly 10 years at the first location. “We hope by moving to the highway, we regain some of that traffic as well as attract more.”
Woodsome also did a study of her customer database and discovered that more than 75 percent of the dealership’s customers are from the area where the store is now located. And hungry riders in need of a famous “Throwed Roll” at Lambert’s Café are less than a mile away from the new Cruisin’ 66 location.
The dealership goes from 10,000 square feet in the old space to 5,500 in the new location, “but the new building is only five years old and our prior building was 50 years old,” Woodsome said. “We’re in a much better neighborhood. The new building allowed us to change our look and décor to a more modern industrial look that is brighter than our previous store. For some time I have wanted to reduce the amount of retail space in the store for several reasons, one being I wanted the store to feel more intimate when customers came in.”
The new location previously housed a retail paint store.
“The layout was exactly what we were looking for with half retail and half warehouse/shop,” Woodsome said. “Previously we were renting and the economy allowed us to buy this property.”
Woodsome made the move a celebratory event, asking several key customers to ride the bike inventory to the location so the dealership staff would not have to trailer it.
“Those customers all showed up early and helped take down fixtures and box up helmets and jackets waiting for the big ride to start,” she said. “We did a video of the ‘farewell’ ride, which we have on our YouTube channel. We then did a shuttle back to the old store for a pizza party.”
The new store opened for business on April 30, not without a phone number transfer glitch that forced the dealership to turn to social media to provide contact information. The grand opening event is June 22.
“We were pretty amazed as we were busy from the time we opened the doors,” Woodsome said. “It was as if we had always been at this location.”