Saddles shines in trade mag review

Staff celebrating the magazine award at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge
Staff celebrating the magazine award at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge

A Hebden Bridge bike shop has proved why it’s already a hit with customers and well prepared for July’s Grand Départ, by wowing a “mystery shopper” sent to put its products and staff to the test.

Blazing Saddles, at West End, will be at the very epicentre of July’s Tour de France action, since it will pass right through Hebden Bridge.

Cycle industry journal Bike Biz sent its anonymous “mystery shopper” to six shops in West Yorkshire. The point of the exercise was to see how well each shop performed in terms of facilities, product range and customer service. The shopper visited each posing as a customer looking for bike lights. Exercises like this are a great chance for shops to demonstrate the kind of friendliness, advice and extra services that internet shopping simply can’t match, said the magazine.

The mystery shopper’s review in the February edition concluded Blazing Saddles is a well-managed shop providing great products and excellent service. The mystery shopper was so impressed that he awarded Blazing Saddles the coveted title of Star Store, putting it top of the table, singling out for praise was the shop’s community feel, along with the fact that there was no “hard sell”, rather detailed good advice and a decent range of products to choose from.

Blazing Saddles’ manager, Alan Boult, said: “Everyone in the Blazing team is fanatical about bikes and enjoys their work, so customers always get the kind of enthusiastic reception and real-world product knowledge they really need. It’s always been this way here, but with the Tour de France coming up soon, we’re more determined than ever to show people the big advantages of buying their bikes and kit from a real-life shop, not online.”