Some impressions of our Jubilee Spring Exhibition 2019
Article of the Zuger Zeitung of 26 February 2019 on the 100th anniversary of A. Rüegg AG.
(For a larger view, click on the picture.)
A bike shop in Steinhausen becomes a highly traditional business
Marlies Inderbitzin and Toni Rüegg run the "2-wheel and baby center A. Rüegg" in their third family generation. This year the company celebrates a very special anniversary.
One hundred years ago, the story of "Velo-Rüegg" in Steinhausen has begun. The grandfather of today's company owners Marlise Inderbitzin and Toni Rüegg opened a small repair store for bicycles in the former milk collection station in Steinhausen. "At that time the bike repair service was a real need," recalls his daughter-in-law Marie-Louise Rüegg, stating: "In the past, public transport was not yet well developed and people were cycling to work." Business conducted as a side business, until 1946, when the eldest son Toni Rüegg entered as a full-time employee. Thanks to further work with other companies and the manufacturing of the crossbow, the company was able to survive at that time”, says his wife. She opened the baby department during this time, which still exists today. "At the same time I took over the bookkeeping and looked after the family," she adds. Since then, the store has grown steadily. The building has been extended several times and finally the new building has been completed at its present location.
What once began as a side business in 1919 still exists today and has been in the hands of the third generation since the 1980s. It was not always clear that Marlise Inderbitzin and her brother Toni Rüegg would take over the traditional business. "Gradually I slipped into it. When someone was sick, I helped out, "says Toni Rüegg. When he wanted a career change, he finally got into it. Marlise Inderbitzin worked part-time and finally full-time after the birth of her two children. There are currently five employees working in the workshop and three part-time sales professionals. «Our employees are loyal to us for a long time. A mechanic has been working here for 38 years and is happy to help out after retirement”, says the sibling's mother. She herself is still in business today.
The technology is progressing
Some things have changed over time. Not only the company has grown, but also the needs of customers have changed and the technology of bicycles has progressed. "Nowadays, customers are much better informed, they know what they are looking for before they enter the store”, says Marlise Inderbitzin. Also, since getting into business, the bicycles have also developed, as the mechanic Rüegg knows: "There were always waves in which new things came up." In the 1980s, the mountain bikes got a boost, later on the electric bikes got popular and are still high on demand today. Not only elderly people would fall back on the motorized bicycles, even younger ones are enthusiastic. "And many people, thanks to e-bikes, are once again discovering the joy of riding a bicycle. Those are much easier, of course”, says Rüegg. But technical progress requires the appropriate know-how. "Every year, our mechanics take four to five courses so that they are up-to-date and can repair electric bikes properly," Rüegg explains. Error analysis on the computer are now common. "Every mechanic has a computer at his workplace," says Rüegg's mother. Several years ago, almost all bikes got repaired, today it is a bit different. After all, a bicycle at that time was about a month's salary”, explain the owners.
Bicycles are still trendy
Like a hundred years ago, bikes are still fashionable in Switzerland. "Children learn to ride bicycles at a young age. In adolescence, the enthusiasm decreases slightly. Then the youngsters prefer to take the bus to school”, says Rüegg. Training wheels for children became over time less fashionable. Marlise Inderbitzin knows why: "At the age of one to two years, children are already sitting on walking bikes and have a good balance."
For the anniversary, the store has planned a spring exhibition on 16 and 17 March. A special highlight is also the contest: Those who have the oldest bill from the Rüegg farm will win a retro bike. "By the way, these are very popular for young people”, summarizes Marlise Inderbitzin.
100 years of Velo Rüegg – we celebrate this anniversary at our spring exhibition
At our spring exhibition you will find various attractions and a special competition. Please reserve the date. We look forward to your visit.