Yellow Jersey, one of the oldest merchants on State Street, will move it operations in September to Arlington, a small village 20 miles north of Madison.
"We had a new opportunity to buy a really beautiful building," says CEO Andrew Muzi. "We're really excited."
Yellow Jersey opened on University Avenue in 1971 and has been on State Street since 1974. Over the years, the bike shop opened other outlets around the city, including at Schenck's Corners on Madison's east side and on Odana Road. All the satellite stores closed in the mid-1990s.
"After building an empire that bled money at every corner, I asked what it was we were trying to accomplish," Muzi writes in an online bio for the shop. "Like so many bicycle store managers, I assumed bigger was better."
Muzi writes that he also missed having direct contact with customers and working with bikes while managing 50 employees and spending most of his time on administrative and security work.
In its new digs in Arlington, Yellow Jersey will emphasize online sales which, says Muzi, has been "very good" since 1995. He says he'll also be happy to leave behind some of the water issues he faced in the building the shop leased on State Street.
Darin Schultz, a manager of Budget Bicycle Shop on Regent Street, says the relocation of Yellow Jersey comes as a surprise since the shop has been on State Street for so long.
"I think Madison has a very competitive marketplace, but that's not why he's leaving," Schultz says. "He just bought a bigger building and he's moving to greener pastures, I think."
But Mary Carbine, the executive director of the Madison Central Business Improvement District, says there is really nothing surprising about the move.
"The one thing that is constant about State Street or any other small business environment is that it is always changing," Carbine says. "It is sad to see such a longtime business go but change is really a constant and businesses change to respond to the market."
The State Street shop is scheduled to close Sept. 30, and the new Arlington location will open Oct. 1.
"The logistics of it are daunting, but falling into place," Muzi says. "It should be fun."