Leather chaps and saddle bags will soon rev up a long-vacant West Broad retail space.
Renegade Classics, a motorcycle apparel and accessories chain, is set to open next month at 7590 W. Broad St. in Merchants Walk Shopping Center.
Charles and Vicki Olin bought the licensing rights to bring the Renegade Classics brand to Richmond for the first time. Though they’ll enter a market that already has several Harley Davidson stores, Charles Olin said he sees room for Renegade.
“We’re not going to be competing with Harley Davidson,” he said. “Not everyone can afford or wants to pay Harley Davidson prices, and that’s our little niche.”
Renegade Classics sells items like saddle bags, leather gear and helmets. The Sacramento, Calif.-based brand was founded in 1994 and began licensing stores in 2003. It has about 25 locations nationwide.
The Olins’ daughter Jesse will manage the store.
The Richmond location will be the brand’s third in Virginia, joining locations in Fredericksburg and Chincoteague Island. Before riding with Renegade Classics, the Olins met with the owners of the other Virginia shops.
“It shortened down the learning curve a whole lot,” Olin said of buying into an existing brand. “We didn’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Olin said he has the rights to use the brand within a 50 mile radius around his Richmond location. Eventually he would like to open Renegade Classics in Virginia Beach and Columbia, S.C.
Olin said it can cost up to $150,000 to open a licensed Renegade Classics store. The licensing fee is $15,000, according to the company website. Olin said as a licensee, he is part of a purchasing group that saves money on inventory by buying in bulk.
He said the Renegade Classics space at Merchants Walk has been vacant for years. The couple signed a five-year lease on the 2,700-square-foot space.
“We were looking for something on the Broad Street corridor,” Olin said. “It’s a landmark in that area. People are very familiar with it.”
Renegade Classics joins a Food Lion, Jo-Ann Fabric and Marshalls at Merchants Walk.
Connie Jordan Nielsen and Nicki Jassey of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled lease negotiations for the shopping center. Nielsen said there are three vacant spaces totaling 7,931 square feet left at Merchants Walk.
“It’s a huge difference from what it was even a year ago,” Nielsen said.
Olin said he started riding motorcycles 40 years ago. Today, he owns four bikes and is the director of the Harley Owner’s Group in Richmond.
Before buying into Renegade Classics, Olin said his wife has a background in accounting, and he worked 35 years for Virginia Hospital and Laundry Inc.
“Then I just decided, ‘You know what?’ It was time to do something for myself,” he said.