A longtime business in Plano is closing its doors after nearly five decades.
Just before Thanksgiving, Plano Cycling & Fitness announced it is closing before the end of the year.
Owner Rick Gurney has run the store since 1988 when he took over the family business. His parents, Kenneth and Sandra Gurney, bought the shop in 1972. His dad was an engineer for Texas Instruments and his mom was a school teacher who kept their day jobs while they launched the business.
“He would come in early in the mornings and do the day’s repairs and help customers. Then he would leave at 4:30. My mom would get there at 4:30 she would close the shop,” said Gurney.
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For 46 years, the store has operated in and near downtown Plano.
“We have always taken every customer and said, we don’t know what the future looks like with that customer until we give them every bit of energy that we have,” said Gurney.
This year, Gurney said he was faced with a choice: make deep cuts to stay in business or close. Gurney said he decided to close as brick and mortar businesses navigate changing shopping habits.
“I felt like I’m no longer an independent bike person as much as I might be a fulfillment center for someone making purchases online and that’s when it became impersonal,” said Gurney. “Once that happened, I thought that’s not what I signed up for.”
Still, the decision to close proved difficult. Twenty people work at Plano Cycling & Fitness. The most experienced employee has been with the shop for 29 years, many others have worked there for more than 10 years.
“It means everything to me. It’s where I’ve worked for 15 years,” said Darrell Steward, a mechanic in the shop’s service department. “But changes happen, so I just have to adapt and move on.”
“I always wanted to have a company that people could grow in,” said Gurney. “When they have a family, have kids, when they need more money to raise those kids or put them in daycare, it was always my job to give hope. It came to a point where it was difficult for me to provide that hope.”
Longtime customer Craig Miller stopped by the shop one last time on Thursday.
“When I heard the news, it was pretty devastating,” said Miller, an avid cyclist and radio personality with 1310 The Ticket. “They know every single thing about what I like in a bike, how I ride, how I like a bike set up.”
“It’s a mom and pop shop that was ingrained in the community for almost 50 years,” said Miller. “It’s quite a blow to everybody.”
Gavin Pigman, 22, bought a new bike on Thursday. He said he preferred visiting the shop over shopping online.
“I didn’t know what size bike I needed,” he said.
Pigman told NBC 5 he remembers coming to the store as a kid.
“It’s just weird seeing places that you’ve always seen going away,” said Pigman.
Gurney said the tentative closing date is Dec. 22, but that will depend on how much of the remaining stock the store can sell.
Gurney said he doesn’t blame anyone for the changing retail landscape, but he does think the shop closure represents a crossroads.
“I just know what the sales tax is that we’ve been able to generate over the years, and even in this small business it’s pretty astounding to me,” said Gurney. “How do my spending habits impact my neighborhood and my community? I think we’re all going to have to think about that question and answer it.”