Dutch e-bike company VanMoof has been dipping its toes into the Irish market with a pop-up store in Dublin as interest in cycling here grows.
The Amsterdam-based company, which recently raised €12.5m from venture capital backers, sells mostly online but has a small network of physical stores in European and US cities and it also tests pop-up stores in various locations.
Barry Bracken, a spokesman for VanMoof, said the company was interested in understanding the Irish market in more detail.
“We do ship and sell some bikes there, but it’s only a small amount compared to the UK,” he said.
“Ireland just made sense because Dublin is a good cycling city that could be a better cycling city and I think more and more people have taken this moment to get on bikes, e-bikes or not.”
Cycling has seen an uptick in interest since the onset of the pandemic with people seeking alternatives to public transport and bike shops reporting a surge in sales.
Bracken said its pop-up, which first opened on Drury St and has relocated to Wicklow St, helps attract walks-in and provides test rides for e-bikes, which are more expensive than regular bikes.
E-bikes, which assist pedalling with an electric motor at speeds of up to 25km/h, can range from €1,500 to €5,000.
“Our bike is going down in price in order to sell more to more people and make it more accessible,” Bracken said. The two e-bike models that the company offers are priced at around €2,000.
The Dublin pop-up will operate until the end of October, with a possible extension to the end of the year. Bracken said there are no plans to open a permanent store in the capital but it may look to run pop-ups seasonally.
“If a more flexible opportunity for us to have a presence arises, I can see it happening again as we come into the spring next year,” he said.