In this edition of our newsletter, we wanted to feature a company that has chosen Berlin deliberately as a business location and stepping stone for its potential U.S. expansion.
Luckily, we have found the perfect candidate to highlight, let us introduce you to LEKKER Bikes. We had the pleasure to talk to Niels Bark, CEO of LEKKER Bikes and ask him some questions on his rapidly expanding business. We started our chat by talking about LEKKER Bikes´ story. Niels immediately compared the whole business to Amsterdam, where it all started:
Our bikes enable you to move as we do in Amsterdam: freely and out in the open, controlling your own route, either sharing the experience with others or taking off on a solo adventure. The vibrant Amsterdam streets say it all; people of all ages, young and old, taking over the city by bike as if it’s their playground. But moving the Amsterdam way is more than just a physical movement. It is an attitude to life, encapsulating the Amsterdam ‘branie’ – being gutsy and doing things your own way. By choosing to go LEKKER, you show the world that you are in charge.
We continued to elaborate this special intersection of LEKKER Bikes between Amsterdam, Australia and very soon Berlin with their upcoming store:
We have taken a bit of an unconventional path, to say the least. We launched LEKKER Bikes in Australia back in 2010, as we experienced difficulties moving around as we were used to doing back home, in Amsterdam. We were eager to show – in a very car-minded culture – how we do it in Amsterdam, where a bike is a way to move around town.
Step by step we have taken the Australia commuter by hand, introduced cycling as an alternative, and shared bits of our unique cycling culture and how it can benefit and create joy among people from all walks of life. While explaining that you didn’t need to wear special gear and spandex pants, we opened two brand stores in Melbourne and Sydney. We try to create a global company, based on local culture. We believe that being present in the cities ourselves, helps to understand our local customer, and with feedback gathered from all parts of the world combined, we’re able to develop the ultimate cycling experience. Over the years we have received overwhelming support from customers in Germany. With our products available through our e-commerce channel, with quick front door delivery, we have already put a large number of LEKKER Bikes out on the streets in Germany. Today it’s the right time to take the next step, by opening our first brand store in Berlin. And we don’t stop just there. We’re already preparing for 2 more German stores in the near future.
That has immediately captured our attention and continued our talk about Berlin and LEKKER Bikes´ plans in the capital city. We asked Niels where they would open up their store and why:
Well, among our team there is a lot of love for Berlin. Internally we’ve done our research on which area felt most fitting, based on our endless trips to Berlin. We’ve spoken to many friends, partners, and our customers to understand where we could make an impact, be accessible to current LEKKER riders, and where we felt a strong connection to the community and area. When we visited Kollwitzplatz, highly recommended by many, we fell in love directly. Although it was mid-January, cold and snowy, we could see potential and the store fits our purpose perfectly. It made us even more excited to open our store in Berlin!
After having covered one of our passions, Berlin, we had to ask about the other one, the U.S. We were curious what relations they already have and how they imagine entering the American market:
We try to create a global company, based on local culture. We have tipped our feet in U.S. waters quite a while ago, to better understand the market and our customer’s needs.
How and why, we asked:
Well, that’s actually interesting. We found a partner who made it possible to ship our bikes directly from Melbourne straight to our customer’s front door. One of our first orders came from Honolulu, Hawaii, and it took just 5 days to have the bike delivered to our customer. That was twice faster than shipping a bike to Darwin, Australia!
From there we took things step-by-step, learning every day. Today, we’re looking at launching our newest eBike collection in the U.S. in August. We will support our global operation by opening a new LEKKER Hub in New York towards the end of this year.
Why did you choose New York as the center of the new LEKKER Hub?
For multiple reasons. Firstly, and this is very operational driven, we’ve taken time zones into consideration. With our team spread over Australia, Europe and now the U.S., opening on the West Coast would create a very, very challenging operation. Secondly, we are very excited about New York City’s plans to take 25% of its street space away from cars in favor of a bikeable city. We believe this could be a pivot point for the use of bicycles in New York. We love cities that rethink urban transportation and create the necessary infrastructure for citizens to safely commute on a bike.
MORE on this recently published policy here.
These are amazing developments, we thought. What exciting years to come for LEKKER Bikes! What do you expect business-wise for the next chapter in LEKKER Bikes´ life?
We believe we should all get comfortable with the thought of eBikes being the solution for urban mobility complexities we see worldwide. Leaving cars in the past and pushing for acceptance for bikes as means of transportation allows cities to move forward, and become future-proof. The demand for eBikes continues to skyrocket and city dwellers reevaluate their transport choices. We at LEKKER are passionate cyclists ourselves, and enjoy working on and with our bikes every day. That we’re able to share a piece of our Amsterdam cycling culture to make the world just a bit better, but moreover, have a positive impact on people’s daily life and well-being, is something that makes our clock tick. With the majority of cities worldwide having made major investments in car-free futures with revamped streetscapes and more cycling infrastructure we will make sure to be there, to enable everyone to move around as we do in Amsterdam.
Niels, thank you for taking the time to have this chat with us and thank you very much for picking Berlin for LEKKER Bikes´ next store-opening. We will accompany you on your U.S. journey and wishing you great success on both sides of the Atlantic!