High-priced bikes rest on plinths, lit dramatically from above and below with a wide berth of empty space. At first glance, the design of Ribble Cycles’ new stores look like the bike-tech equivalent of an Hermès boutique, where each Birkin bag resides in its own window. However, Ribble’s stores are strategically designed for virtual retail, or v-commerce, rather than desire. The plinths, lighting, spaciousness and sight lines are designed to enable sales associates to show off bicycle features and accessories while conversing with clients via the virtual-retail platform Go Instorm. With a global clientele from Dubai to San Francisco, but only five stores, all in the UK, Ribble began experimenting with the London-based virtual retail several years before the Covid-19 pandemic in order to expand its direct-to-consumer reach. “We only sell consumer-direct, so we hold onto that customer relationship,” says Ribble CEO Andy Smallwood. Read more at Vogue Business.