Chrome Bags has undertaken a new initiative to further root themselves in the local bicycle community that affords them much of their customer base: using bicycle couriers to deliver bags in San Francisco. Starting November 20th, anyone buying a bag in San Francisco by 3 pm will get that bag same-day, delivered by a hot and sweaty Godspeed Courier, at no extra charge.
"The focus here is Chrome supporting the working messengers and this further embeds that," said Rob Reedy, Chrome’s spokesperson. "I think most folks are going to be stoked for that instant gratification."
Same-day delivery by courier hearkens to the heady days of dot-com hyper-convenience, when messengers were dispatched to deliver everything from DVDs to ice cream and beer. Chrome manufactured the bags for one of those short-lived companies, Kozmo.com. Reedy explained that Chrome had loosely talked with Godspeed and other couriers about bag delivery by messenger since then, but the idea hadn’t been implemented. Asked whether the effort was to help Godspeed avoid the plight of downsizing or closure that has hit bicycle couriers across the country, Reedy said his consideration was more about the connection to the messenger community in general.
"Godspeed is doing extremely well, they’re fast,
dependable, legit. We’ve organized events and parties with them in the past," said Reedy. When asked how far Godspeed would ride, Reedy said, "Godspeed will pedal everywhere, they’re animals. They’ll ride over the bridge if needed." He admitted some longer-distance deliveries might have to be next morning, depending on just how far away and how much business the new promotion engenders.
"The retail store is going to act as the epicenter," said Reedy, who envisioned a swarm of couriers coming in and out on runs. "It’s going to add to the
mystique of the retail store." The new Chrome store, located on 4th Street and Brannan in SoMa, suffered a break in and theft of goods a couple of months ago, but has been doing well, according to Reedy.
For a small business, working with Chrome can be a significant boost. The kids over at Bicycle Coffee Company, who we profiled in July, recently finished a promotion with Chrome, where each new bag purchase included a half-pound of their coffee.
Mikael Kirkman, who roasts the coffee in his pottery studio in Berkeley, said they had moved 600 pounds through the Chrome deal, an enormous boost to their fledgling company, but one that required near-constant roasting.
For Chrome, the coffee promotion grew out of a connection they had to Matthew McKee, one of Bicycle Coffee Company’s co-founders, who had done some artwork for the company’s San Francisco store. Reedy was drawn to the path McKee and Kirkman followed to start their company and said Chrome was looking for similar entrepreneurs.
"For us that was just a cool story, period," he said. "Chrome can be tied to bikes, to urban culture, to art. If something feels good and legitimate, that’s when we jump on it."