E-bikes helped Murray Pratt continue his Christmas tradition amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he is now selling them in the brand new Southlands community.
Pratt and Gord Sarkissian have teamed up to open Pedego Electric Bikes in the Boundary Bay development’s Market District that features other businesses and could also be the future location of a new Four Winds Brewery restaurant, a development, in which an application was submitted to the City of Delta earlier this week.
For years, Pratt has put on the red suit and beard to be “Santa Claus” at a variety of community events. He thought COVID-19 had put the gig on pause until Sarkissian suggested he be part of an e-bike group that would deliver Christmas cheer for the isolated residents in local senior homes.
“That was a transformational event for me,” Pratt recalled. “Just being able to go out and visit senior homes with seven bikes ahead and me in the ‘sleigh.’ It was one of those magnificent days of the year for me.”
Pratt and Sarkissian began looking closer at electric bikes and studied the business side. They discovered that Pedego wanted an authorized dealer in the Delta, Surrey and Langley area while it also fit with Southlands’ commercial plan. The 750-square-foot store is now open seven days a week.
“We had heard Southlands was looking for a business involved with bikes. The development has a resort feel to it with a back-to-land movement,” added Pratt. “I actually look at electric bikes in relative to automobiles. The idea that there are some trips where an electric bike can take the place of a car trip. That’s the natural element to it. Then there are the benefits where you can go further afield like seeing what is around Boundary Bay.”
E-bikes are popular enough to generate brisk sales, but Pratt said it was important the store offers a rental component too, which will be launched this weekend.
“You could sell a lot of electric bikes because they are in high demand, but we wanted to be an amenity to the Southlands and to the community too,” he said.
Pratt added the initial thought is e-bikes would attract mostly young purchasers that were interested in the speed and thrill aspect. Instead, the exact opposite is occurring.
“The typical customer is 50-plus and it’s people in a lot of cases they thought their days of (bike) riding were over,” he said. “It was uncomfortable or hard on the knees. It’s giving people an assist. They feel better and can go further than they have ever gone before.”