Downtown San Luis Obispo is losing another business — and competition from e-commerce is partly to blame.
SLO Bike and Run, a sports equipment and clothing store at 883 Marsh St., is closing its doors permanently on Sunday.
In preparation, the store is selling tools, bikes, accessories, apparel, bike racks and more — for up to 80 percent off.
Husband-and-wife team Scott and Debbie Gower opened SLO Bike and Run in 2013.
They owned a similar sports store, Go For It Sports in Atascadero, for 14 years. It closed in 2018.
Scott Gower said the couple plans to retire to race and travel once SLO Bike and Run closes. They’ll also continue to sell sports gear and nutrition products through their company, Go For It Sports, Inc., at race expos.
Gower said losing customers to online retail was a factor in the decision to shutter the San Luis Obispo store.
“If the community continues to purchase online and just utilizes smaller stores for information — I joke about it being a museum rather than a retail outlet — they’re doing themselves a disservice and hurting the community they need to thrive,” he said.
Gower said stores in downtown San Luis Obispo will continue to close if community members visit them only to look at sizing or styles before making purchases online.
He said he feels a certain amount of guilt about closing SLO Bike and Run, since he knows what it meant to many community members. But, he added, he’s excited for retirement.
“This is my passion,” Gower said. “I am so thankful to the customers, community that have supported us.”