Some of the people behind the founding and success of Mobile Klinik, the Canadian chain of smartphone and tablet repair shops, have launched a new business in downtown Toronto for bike, e-bike and scooter repairs.
“Repair & Run was actually first started in France about five years ago. The mobile bicycle repair business since then has grown into a network of brick and mortar stores within France. The Canadian branch just started. It’s been in the works for a little while,” said Botros.
“Ken Campbell, my partner, approached me while I was at Mobile Klinik, and said ‘hey we really like the work that you did at Mobile Klinik and we were wondering if you wanted to join this company’. I’m an avid cyclist myself. It’s one of the things I enjoy most. Some people have yoga or the gym. This is my way to disconnect. I love to explore new places.”
“It’s not really about how fast I’m going or my heart rate. It’s just being outside. Being active. Seeing new places.”
Botros spent six years with Mobile Klinik. As Mobile Klinik’s first employee, he comes to the new venture with a wealth of experience and knowledge in building a national retail repair brand and supported Mobile Klinik’s expansion through to its acquisition by TELUS, by leading the Training and Development and developing key relationships and programs that are still in operation today.
Campbell is an experienced executive and entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of Mobile Klinik. He served as founding CEO of WIND Mobile (now Freedom) and was CEO of telecom operators in North Africa and Europe.
“With the first store, we want to make sure we can prove the concept and survive through the off-season by maybe doing a couple of other things on top of bike repair,” said Botros. “But we’re planning to be here for a long time and opening up about 50 locations in the next five years.
“That’s not anything new to me. We’ve done 90 something or so in the last five years with Mobile Klinik.
“At the very core, we are very repair focused. We do professional bike, e-bike and e-scooter repairs. We’re very aware of the e-mobility trend that is booming right now. Our business model is a little bit different than a lot of the bike shops you would probably see around. Rather than having 70 per cent of our sales dedicated to bike sales and things of that nature, we actually have the inverse repair business model. Most of our shop floor is dedicated to repairs. We’ve got repair stations set up. In this particular location, we actually have double the space because we have a basement where we’re going to be putting in more technician stations as well to be able to turn around bikes and e-bikes and e-scooters within a fairly good amount of time. Most of the repairs that we do are same-day or within 24 hours.”
Botros said some repairs may take a little bit longer depending on what parts are needed to be replaced.
He said the on-going pandemic has been a major driving factor in the growth in popularity for bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters.
“And fuelled by the fact that e-bikes are becoming so popular, people who are not generally into cycling are getting more interested in it. And even older people. People who may have knee problems or other health problems or feel like they can’t cycle on a regular bike so easily. E-bikes and e-scooters and all of the e-mobility type devices are making things so much easier for people, encouraging people to get out there and to start using it for commutes for example. We have a really big population that are food delivery couriers and almost all of them have e-bikes,” said Botros.
“It’s overwhelmingly positive feedback I would say from all of the people that have e-bikes. It makes them feel like a kid again and makes biking a lot more enjoyable.”