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Case study: ak cycle chic

Grow into your brick‑and‑mortar with Clover Flex

Find out how AK Cycle Chic used Clover’s handheld POS, Flex, to start accepting payments and grow its customer base in advance of opening its brick-and-mortar storefront.

THE CHALLENGE

Launching a new business without a storefront or brand recognition.

THE SOLUTION

Flex allows merchants to accept payments anywhere—no storefront required.

THE RESULT

With Clover, this woman-owned business established brand recognition and built capital as they grew into their dream brick-and-mortar location.

Group of five women on a bike trail in the wilderness wearing colorful gear while standing next to their mountain bikes.

How Flex prepares you for your grand opening

Krystal Offord opened AK Cycle Chic—a woman-owned bicycle clothing and apparel store in Anchorage, Alaska—to serve women who previously had no retail option to try on clothing in-person.

“A lot of us were lamenting that we were forced to order fun and functional clothing online,” says Offord. “We had to take that risk in buying it, hoping it’s the right fit, and having it shipped to Alaska. And then if it doesn’t fit, going through the hassle of sending it back and waiting for a refund, credit, or exchange. And we wanted more options!”

On top of cycling and athleisure apparel for women, Offord’s dream of AK Cycle Chic included providing a space for public events, clinics, and workshops.

“It’s really important for us to be community-minded,” Offord stresses. “We just want it to be an accepting place where anybody can come and gather.”

Offord did her homework in choosing a POS to fit her business’ needs.

“I put together a spreadsheet comparing all the different POS systems, and I think what it boiled down to was the simplicity of the design and the response I received from Clover Merchant Services,” Offord describes.

When we started the business, we had products customized with our logo ready to sell, but we didn’t have a storefront,” Offord says. “We started doing pop-ups to get our name out there, and Flex was perfect for that!”

Krystal Offord

AK Cycle Chic

“It was super easy to get started, and it’s just been a breeze. When you’re neck-deep in all the other things of starting a business, it’s really nice to have something be easy.”

Once Offord chose Clover for her business, she started using Flex right away to build capital, even in advance of opening her brick-and-mortar location. This helped her jump-start her revenue stream as well as her customer base.

To build awareness in such a vast state, AK Cycle Chic took Flex on the road.

“We even traveled to Homer, Alaska, which is about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, just to get our name out,” shares Offord. “We partnered with a bike shop in Homer to do that. Flex has been perfect for things like that. It’s very fun to use.”

After setting up in their Midtown Anchorage storefront, Offord immediately started hosting gatherings for the community.

“Our community events have been a huge component in helping spread the word,” Offord tells. “On the First Friday of the month, we host an event with a featured artist in our gallery space, live music and complimentary food/drinks.”

These events don’t just build community for Alaskan women cycling enthusiasts. They also help AK Cycle Chic source new customers.

“People come who wouldn’t normally shop with us because it’s not their niche, but they show up for the art and live music,” Offord shares. “We’ve gotten some repeat customers from that. I feel like that’s been a really good investment, let alone just a lot of fun.”

Flex comes in handy inside the store, just as it does for events on the road.

“When we get a lot of walk-in traffic on First Fridays, a line forms at the register,” Offord explains. “Then we’ll get Flex out and use that in addition to the Station Duo.” Offord likes how this handheld device holds an 8-hour charge, includes a built-in receipt printer and accepts virtually all payment types even when offline.

Offord analyzes Clover reports to track sales, pay the artists she supports, and restock inventory.

“Our artists are all on consignment, so I categorize their art accordingly when it sells. When we run our monthly reports on the sales, we can see how much we owe each artist,” shares Offord.

“I’ll also check my reports to see what we need to order, based on what brands and sizes are selling.”

Settling into the rhythm of a new enterprise—both in and out of the brick-and-mortar—requires flexible payment solutions to grow alongside your business. For that partnership, AK Cycle Chic is grateful to have found and use Clover.

Ak Cycle Chic business owner standing behind checkout counter wearing a colorful shirt. There is a Clover Flex and a Clover monitor sitting on the counter.

The Clover Difference

Flex helped AK Cycle Chic generate capital and brand recognition before a grand opening–offering the mobility needed to serve customers on the road and at pop-up events, broadening their customer base.

Clover Flex device with a sale screen present on the device screen.

Why AK Cycle Chic loves Clover

  • Simplicity of design and ease of use
  • Flex accepts payments on the go–anywhere, anytime
  • Robust reporting informs inventory restocking needs
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