Dealer association buys Barnett mechanics school

By Stephen Frothingham

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—The National Bicycle Dealers Association has agreed to buy the Barnett Bicycle Institute — the 30-year-old professional mechanics school — from its founder, John Barnett.

As service becomes increasingly important to retailers, the purchase will allow the association to offer its members employee training and certification, the NBDA said. The association plans to expand BBI’s offerings with online classes, regional classes and certification testing.

The purchase comes at a time when many bike retailers are looking to increase their service business in the face of online competition and omni-channel distribution. For several years, the NBDA had been trying to develop its own online program for entry level mechanic education and certification.

Development of that program had stalled, and the NBDA’s president, Todd Grant, said the BBI purchase creates a clear road map for bringing it to fruition.

“The NBDA’s mission is to strengthen the specialty bicycle retailer — education being a key component of the association’s vision. We see that improving the service department — where every bike passes through — as natural place for us to make a significant education investment,” Grant said.

The purchase price is not being disclosed but it is the largest in recent NBDA history. The association …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News