SCHENECTADY — Schenectady bicycle retailer Plaine and Son has closed its three satellite locations and is focusing on its longtime State Street flagship.
“We’ve found we’re our own biggest competitor,” said owner Les Plaine in a recent interview. Plaine's father, Lou, founded the company in 1945.
Each of the three former bike shops had its own vibe:
- Broadway Bicycle Co. in north Albany was the first of the three to open, in 2011.
- Collamer House Bike and Ski had occupied a circa-1835 house on East High Street in Malta since 2014
- New York Bicycle Co. also opened in 2014, on Congress Street in Schenectady, and was named one of the nation’s top bike shops in 2015 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
The idea, Plaine previously told The Daily Gazette, was to enter underserved markets and/or offer a product mix that was slightly different from the main location.
“They all have a different identity. They’re all kind of different, which makes it interesting for the consumer,” he said in 2016.
All three buildings are now available for lease or sale, Plaine said, though he’s using the Congress Street building as a warehouse.
Each building is distinctive:
- Broadway has an industrial aesthetic and a variety of green-building features that reduce its environmental impact.
- Collamer is a local landmark that was restored from decay a decade ago.
- New York Bicycle Co. occupies a brick building that was built as a mill by a General Electric subcontractor in the early 1900s.
“They’re desirable locations, for sure,” Plaine said.
He said Plaine and Son is doing well with its own line of bicycles under the New York Bicycle Co. name, and that will continue. But they’ll do it from the 1816 State St. store they’ve occupied for more than a third of a century.
“We’re concentrating on our main location,” Plaine said. “We think we can service the market from this spot.”