$40,000 USD from 1 Customer — for 1 Reason

So word just got out that my local LIDL’s is closing in a week. Can’t say we didn’t see that coming. The place is empty almost all the time, with just a core group of us that frequent it. Selection is extremely limited. There’s usually just one register open, and you often have to somehow summon the lone cashier from elsewhere in the store to check you out. And yet, I have absolutely loved it.

I ride my bike there several times a week (sometimes daily). The covered, convenient bike rack (see a small selection of the many TikToks I’ve made there below), installed by the store that was there before (Sprouts), means I’m always welcome (even in the rain) and secure. And I’ve gotten used to the handful of mostly-organic things I buy continually, at significant discounts from other places. Honeycrisp apples. Kombucha. Cashews (and cashew ice cream). Tofu. Tortilla chips and salsa. Frozen pizza. Coffee. Flowers. (I get a weekly delivery of fruits and vegetables from Misfits Market — see the TikTok unboxing from yesterday on the very bottom of this post.)

Here I am coming home with flowers in my basket after my first week of work at the CDC Foundation in service to the State of Alaska as project manager/head writer on the Healthy You in 2022 campaign (a job I took, 100% remotely more than 4,000 miles away, so I could still live using my healthy local transportation habits):

Riding my bike home from LIDL’s with flowers in the upcycled ocean plastic basket. Yep, I’m on the sidewalk (and yep, that’s one of several spots in my city that continually flood and hold standing water, despite SeeClickFix requests to fix for ADA accessibility). Where I live is the only city in the State of Georgia that has decriminalized riding a bike on a sidewalk (with priority for those walking and using wheelchairs) for all people due to the continual dangerous-by-design conditions in our shared public space known as roads. You don’t want to miss this post. (Fun fact: I typically ride 5-20 miles a day and encounter, on average, maybe two human beings not in motor vehicles.) I also particular like the Cone of Silence post, for what it’s worth. Oh, and A Path Forward with Joe includes a whole lot that I think is important for there to be in the record.

And then there are the random items I buy from the eclectic ever-changing selection in the middle of the store. Art kits. Hammocks. Tights. Socks. A wooden lazy susan for spinning my earrings in TikToks (see below). Even 17-pound (7.7 kilogram) kettle balls! (THOSE were fun to bungee cord on my bike and ride home.)

The lazy susan from LIDL’s. This version of BikeBloom upcycled bike tube earrings available FREE when you donate $125 USD to Global Spokes. See details here. See the new version, each an original work of art, at BikesBloom on Etsy here.

It will most likely be years before something else goes in this space (and I’ll be gone anyway, at least until September 1st). LIDL’s has, apparently, failed, according to some standard other than mine. As did Sprouts before it. And Ace Hardware. And Harris Teeter. And yet, unbeknownst to Kroger across the street (although I’ve continually told them), the mere presence of that bike rack means that LIDL’s, in just a little over two years, has diverted at least $20,000 USD (from one customer one bike ride at a time) away from that Kroger (and Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, Costco and everywhere else I used to shop regularly).

Combined with dollars spent at Sprouts before it, that one bike rack has had an economic impact of at least $40,000 USD on this one location just since 2014 (with a two year break in the middle when it was empty). You’d think Kroger would get a bike rack, but no. (I asked them for one over and over years ago.) It’s a couple hundred bucks, team. Here ya’ go.

So, sure, keep discounting my economic impact as a bike rider at your own risk. Keep discounting women (but read this first, please, and watch the following TikTok — if you are a business owner, I’m doing you a favor. You’re welcome.)

I’ve taken my business away from many companies — and complete cities — without them even realizing it (although I did try to tell them). And it adds up. Now, I find out Alon’s (one of my favorite coffee shops and one of the 12 or so places in total in my city that have bike racks) is closing less than two weeks after LIDL’s. Who wants my grocery and coffee shop business? (A coffee shop named Crema promised to be the first location in my city to add a bike corral — you can see mention of this in the free Dunwoody Painted Picnic Table virtual bike tour I created that includes it — but has since returned to car parking only.) You let me know you want my valuable business in three ways:

  1. You have a secure, covered modern bike rack (not the old schoolyard type that doesn’t actually hold bikes correctly — lookin’ at you, Publix Dunwoody Village) conveniently located near your entrance, not shared with the smoking area (lookin’ at you, Dunwoody City Hall and Perimeter Mall) and properly installed, not unusably close to the wall (lookin’ at you, REI Sandy Springs);
  2. You let your local city hall know that safe-access-for-all to and from your location is a business priority and you don’t settle for or accept their greenwashing about it (see my guide to using a bike for transportation in our city, with ideas that may be helpful for creating a similar guide for other cities);
  3. You promote your location by featuring people accessing it in climate-responsible, healthy, inclusive ways that benefit the triple-bottom-line sustainability of our communities.

Thank you, LIDL’s. Thank you, Alon’s. I will miss you both.


Needless to say, my wheels r already turning with ideas . . . #foryoupage #fyp #fancywomenbikeride

♬ original sound – Trust the Journey

#bikes make life seem more simple and remind me of being a kid in the #1970s #bikelife #bikejoy #foryoupage #fyp

♬ Sesame Street Theme – The Sesame Street Kids

Tagged with: