Rapid City, S.D.-based children’s bicycle company Strider Sports International is expected to open a Strider Bikes store this spring in Bentonville, the self-proclaimed Mountain Biking Capital of the World.
The 2,400-square-foot store at 109 N. Main St. will be Strider’s first brand store separate from its headquarters and will be adjacent to the Walmart Museum and Walton’s 5 & 10 on the square in downtown Bentonville.
“We have visited Bentonville several times over the last few years, and it’s clear the community here is just as passionate as we are about getting kids on two wheels,” said Ryan McFarland, founder and CEO of Strider Bikes. “We’re excited about the possibilities to contribute to the riding culture of Northwest Arkansas.”
McFarland founded Strider Bikes in 2007 after he rebuilt his 2-year-old son’s 12-inch bicycle into a lightweight balance bike without pedals. It was the first Strider Balance Bike. Since then, Strider has sold nearly 3 million bicycles across the globe.
The Bentonville store will feature a learn-to-ride area for toddlers and retail space for the line of Strider Bikes and accessories for children ages 6 months to 7 years old.
The company will hire a store manager, events specialist, education specialist, customer service specialist and community outreach staff. The company is expected to hire up to seven employees by the end of the summer, said Susie Marcks, director of marketing. Store hours have yet to be determined.
In July, Bentonville city leaders, tourism officials and other backers staked the claim that the city has become the Mountain Biking Capital of the World.
“It’s true that Bentonville has become the new Mountain Biking Capital of the World,” Mayor Stephanie Orman said in July. “Over the past decade, our community has built a reputation among mountain biking enthusiasts and athletes as the premier global destination for the sport.”