BIKE shop bosses are back on track after being hit by a £15,000 burglary.
When Sanctuary Bikes, Shiney Row, was raided in June – just three months after opening – owner Ian Hughes was left wondering whether his business would survive.
But after months of hard work and new investment, the shop is now preparing for a busy Christmas period.
“It absolutely killed us, right in the height of the summer,” said Ian, 32.
“The whole shop had been cleared out. All the bikes had gone, along with clothing and accessories.
“I would like to thank the local community for all of their kind words and support.
“For all it was a horrible experience, it has renewed my faith in mankind.
“It’s just starting to build for Christmas now. It’s our first year so we don’t really know what to expect, but we have a good range of bikes and BMXs - which seem to be popular this year.
“We’ve got loads of Christmas deals coming on and I expect we will do well in the January sales.”
In June, the Echo reported how raiders smashed through shutters at the back of the store, before tearing the CCTV monitor off the wall, smashing up the till and making off with cycles and equipment.
One of the bikes was a Scott Voltage FR10 2011 model, which Ian said was the only one in the region.
The shop was covered by insurance but was left with a £4,000 deficit to find. It has also invested extra funds into new security.
One major blow for the shop was the timing of the break-in, with Team GB’s Olympic cycling success sparking a bike-boom just weeks after.
“It was a shame because we missed out on the Olympic rush,” added Ian.
“It’s a real growth industry. We’re looking to extend our online sales from outside the area.
Ian has just done a deal with Austrian-based KTM Cycles to become their first supplier in the North East.
“What we’re most proud of is our mountain bike range.
“KTM are one of the world’s premier motorbike manufacturers and they’ve now started doing cycles.
“I think they are going to be huge, so it’s a real coup for us.
Ian, who has a background in outdoors and publishing, set up Sanctuary Cycles after being made redundant.