Lime plans to open physical stores in the US and abroad in the coming year as it seeks to elevate its electric bike and scooter business from just a cheap way to get around to more of a lifestyle brand.
The news about Lime’s plans first came to light in the job posting for a “store manager” in Santa Monica, California, which is ground zero for dockless scooter services. This future location will “place heavy importance on brand experience and customer engagement,” the listing reads.
Lime doesn’t sell electric scooters, so why does it need a brick-and-mortar store? When reached for comment, a Lime spokesperson said, “In the coming year, Lime will be opening brick and mortar storefronts in major US and international markets, starting with Santa Monica, California. Locations will place heavy importance on community engagement, rider education, and brand experience.”
According to TechCrunch, Lime will rent scooters directly from its store and offer charging services as well. Currently, Lime relies on an informal network of freelancers, known as “juicers,” to collect and charge its fleet of bikes and scooters every evening. The “brand experience” aspect will focus on highlighting the ways that Lime’s bikes and scooters can enhance people’s lives and maximize their happiness.
The deal to open a retail store came from Lime’s partnership with investor Fifth Wall Ventures. The firm’s Adam Demuyakor told TechCrunch that the store would focus on “deployment of scooters, charging of scooters, and some sales of apparel and accessories that are related. There will be demos, tutorials, and presentations on how to be safe.”
Lime recently unveiled a new, more heavy-duty model of scooter, which includes larger wheels, mountain bike-style dual suspension, and dual braking. The “Gen 3” scooter also has a stronger, wider standing platform made of aluminum and an LED display between the handlebars that communicates pertinent information such as battery life and parking tips.