In 1921, the first shop of F.W. Evans Cycles opened on the Kennington Road in south east London. Trading from this site for thirty years, F.W Evans Cycles built up a strong reputation as a quality cycle shop. It became particularly well known for building its own frames and bikes, earning an award from the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) for ‘The greatest improvement in cycle design, construction or equipment during the year 1925’.
The business was purchased by Joseph Smith in the 1950s. At the time, the shop sold a range of cycles and toys, but during the seventies Joseph handed the business on to his son, Gary Smith, who developed the shop into a specialist cycle retailer.
After more than 50 years of trading at Kennington Road, re-development of the site saw the store relocated to The Cut in Waterloo in 1977, where the shop continues to trade today. Indeed the latest re-incarnation of that original Waterloo Cut store recently won the Retail Week Enterprise Award for Store Design of the Year in 2013.
During the 1990s, Gary worked with Mike Rice, then the Croydon store franchise owner, to reunite all the previously franchised stores under the umbrella of F.W. Evans Cycles (UK) Ltd. During this time, the Evans Cycles Mail Order catalogue was launched, enabling Evans Cycles to supply a wider range of products to a much larger audience. This major innovation required the opening of a central distribution centre, which was established in Leatherhead, Surrey. Within a few years, the growth of a new type of retailing – eCommerce - led to the Evans Cycles website also being launched.