UK cycling label Rapha is set to almost double its network of cycle clubs around the world this year.
The company’s founder and chief executive Simon Mottram told The Telegraph the new cycling clubs, where riders can stop by for a coffee and food, will open in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Manchester in 2014. The development will add to existing clubs in New York, Sydney, Osaka, San Francisco and London. Around five more cafes could be added annually over the next few years, the paper reports.
The new clubs – which act as cafes, shops, exhibition spaces and places to watch road racing – is a further expansion of the company’s physical space. The London-based company was initially founded as an online-only premium cycle clothing brand in 2004 and opened its first café in San Francisco in 2011.
However don’t expect a Starbucks-style proliferation of cafes in your local suburb.
Mottram said: “Because we’re a premium brand, there’s something so awful about over-exposure. So that stops me from [opening more shops] in London. We could easily have four or five in London, they’d probably do very well.
“It’s easier, there’s less risk, but in a few years’ time the brand would be massively over-exposed and we would have a different problem.”
Mottram added that the sponsorship of the highly successful pro squad Team Sky, had helped change the perception of Rapha wear from not simply being expensive, but high performance too.
In July, the company will also host a Tour de France summer festival – the Rapha Tempest – at Broughton Hall in Yorkshire.
Last year, Rapha’s revenue rose 56 percent to £28 million.