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The RAIDA shop in Blankenberge - originally one of the first Cool Electro Cycles shops since 1 May 2015 - will be in January 2024 completely revamped and transformed into a fully-fledged RAIDA experience shop.

On Wednesday 20 March 2024, the Official reopening of RAIDA Blankenberge in the presence of Mayor Björn Prasse. Mayor Prasse said he was impressed by the RAIDA story and delighted that one of the first RAIDA shops was originally started in Blankenberge. He was still an alderman when it was founded, but now he was proud to stand here as mayor in this modern, stylish shop.

Thorough renovation needed

Attendees could see the new look of the shop discover while some sweets and a drink was offered. The most common response was: "What a beautiful, spacious shop. The large photos on the wall give the whole place an atmospheric feel."

Cedric de Kerchove, CEO of RAIDA: "Our shop in Blankenberge had become too small over the years and needed a thorough renovation. Thanks to the cooperation of some of our employees and the good preparation of RAIDA Blankenberge staff, we were able to carry out these works in a few months and are ready for the new season. This allows us to increase the in-store experience for customers. They can view and choose their ideal bike in a pleasant setting with interaction between the showroom and workshop. Like restaurants with an open kitchen, we work with an open studio."

The famous Family, Friends & Fools

Christophe Cool, current CFO of RAIDA, thanked a lot of people involved from the beginning, the infamous Family, Friends & Fools.

Even the Blankenberge's very first customer was present and honoured. The customer proudly announced: "And I came with my bike, still this one I bought 9 years ago. It has 28,000 km on the odometer." Christophe replied, laughing: "You see, we make the e-bikes far too good."

The Team of shop Blankenberge was in the spotlight put: Billy Dannaut as shop manager succeeding Wim Tavernier who moved on as Event Organiser, Ben Janssens as ebike consultant and specialist and Christian Paulus as chief technician, the RAIDA employee with the greatest track record.

RAIDA as one of the Big Five in Belgium

Christophe then gave a nice overview of the growth story of the past 9 years. "We are now among the Big Five in Belgium, with 13 shops from Ostend to Uccle. But at the beginning in 2015, that was anything but the idea we started with. My brother Nicolas manned the shop in Torhout and I in Blankenberge. We hoped to achieve sales of 100 electric bikes that year. Some bike manufacturers had a hard time going along with our unique concept in the beginning. They did not believe a shop could make it selling and repairing only electric bikes. They turned out to be wrong: we currently realise sales of 4,000 bikes a year, of which 1,000 are speedpedelecs. This means 60,000 service intervals. The largest share of bicycles sold are electric. While there used to be a perception that electric bikes were for 'old and lazy people', today they are a must for commuting and leisure."


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