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Giant USA took over operations of its flagship Giant Cycling World near Denver from its owners on Wednesday in an attempt to improve the shop’s performance.

Giant USA took over operations of its flagship Giant Cycling World near Denver from its owners on Wednesday in an attempt to improve the shop’s performance.

In a letter sent to Giant’s retailers this week, Elysa Walk, general manager of Giant USA, said the move was one Giant did not want to take, but did so in order to “maintain the integrity of the Giant Retail Partner program and meet consumer expectations of a Giant Cycling World location.”

“We don’t intend to ‘own’ this store long term; we’ve taken control to right the business and find a new owner/operator as soon as possible who will move the store forward as a premier Giant retail environment,” Walk wrote. “We feel very strongly that Giant Retail Partner businesses must be run by owners who are actively involved in the day to day operations and activities of the store.”

Owners Eric Krell and Vint Schoenfeldt opened the 4,100 square foot store at the Aspen Grove Shopping Center in the Denver suburb of Littleton in June 2010. It was the first retail experience for the two local physical therapists. Giant USA invested in the build out, but the corporation did not hold an ownership stake in the business.

The Littleton store was Giant’s first company-branded store in the country, followed quickly by a second location in Boston, which has been owned by the company since the beginning.

As such, the Littleton store enjoyed inventory advantages and other benefits and accommodations, but it go didn’t as hoped in part due to a difficult economic environment and a lack of hands-on leadership, said Patrick VanHorn, Giant’s corporate communications manager.

VanHorn noted that the split with Krell and Schoenfeldt was amicable and that Giant exercised a clause in its contract that allowed it to take over ownership if business wasn’t performing as expected.

“This is a terribly important market for Giant. We already have great retailers in and around that area. This was and is still designed to be a flagship store for us and something to show off that has primarily our brand inside,” VanHorn said. VanHorn declined to specify why or how the store wasn’t performing. Giant has had people on the ground in Littleton for about two weeks negotiating the terms of the take over and righting the operation, but will not have any staff onsite long-term.

An employee reach at the shop on Thursday said the staff of 10—now employed by Giant USA—would remain consistent through the transition, and that the change was in the best interest of all parties involved. He said he expected daily operations to remain normal and that the change would be a breath of fresh air at the shop.


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