Client Spotlight: The Pro’s Closet
We’re thrilled to announce that a Boulder County favorite and go-to online store has expanded into Longmont. Matt Heitmann from TPC spills all about growth, the search for the best space, and what’s next for The Pro’s Closet.
The story of The Pro’s Closet, also referred to as TPC, began in 2006 when pro mountain bike racer Nick Martin founded an eBay business selling his bikes and leftover kit on eBay. This exchange happened not online, but frequently with Martin’s teammates and fellow pro riders. The eBay store grew exponentially, and by the time the mid 2000’s rolled around, TPC had become the largest eBay bike store in the world.
It was no secret that Martin was onto something big. So, when he decided to expand operations to a brick-and-mortar store in addition to direct-to-consumer website, Boulder-based venture capital groups Ridgeline and The Foundry couldn’t say no. With nearly $11,000,000 invested in TPC, great talent and leadership were drawn to Martin’s ability to extend the value in everything used.
Currently, 90% of the business from TPC is conducted online. In true Boulder fashion, there’s a sustainability aspect to what TPC is doing. They call themselves a “recommerce” business that focuses on the emerging circular economy.
“We do have a small retail footprint in our Boulder facility which serves primarily as an intake point for people selling us their bikes. But, we also do a small amount of retail sales to all sorts of cyclists, from beginners to competitive amateurs. We encounter a great range of passionate as well casual road, mountain, gravel, and even e-bike customers.”
While looking for a warehouse space, Martin and TPC came across a space in Longmont which was formerly Broadway Motors. “The owner had built a state-of-the-art 29,000 square foot facility complete with high-power wash bay, excellent ventilation and lighting, office space, a kitchen area, and a large parking area.”
The building itself was pristine, and the location was the cherry on top. For those who were already commuting to Boulder from the outskirts of the area, the Longmont location makes the commute even shorter. The space, in addition to the Boulder location, allows TPC to double their operational capacity, which will help them grow exponentially over the next few years. “It just simply checked all the right boxes.”
And what’s in store for the future of Pro’s? A strong triple-digit year-over-year growth. “The demand for second hand bikes and accessories is growing at a phenomenal rate due to changes in personal buying practices, especially among Millennials.”
TPC’s model allows their customers to buy serviced, guaranteed, like-new product with essentially no downside because it’s already depreciated. “In addition, we offer both a 30-day return guarantee as well as a buy-back guarantee. So, there’s no real financial risk, and it’s like getting a new bike for 30% or even 50% less. Since The Pro’s Closet is really the only business of this sort at our scale, with over 750 bikes available on our website and another 1,500 in the works at all times, we don’t foresee reasons for a slowdown in our business’ trajectory, especially as we look to expand into new markets.”