VIDEO: Keep it rolling! New Sheffield ‘Hoverboard’ shop traders have sold hundreds of Swegways

0
Have your say

Shoppers on Sheffield’s Ecclesall Road could be forgiven for thinking they have gone Back to the Future – as a shop selling so-called ‘hoverboards’ has become a big hit.

Business is gliding along for Laura Hodgkinson and Carlos Forbes, who opened their ‘Swegways’ shop at the beginning of October.

(l-r) Carlos Forbes, co owner, Nathan Forbes, shop assistant, Robyn Jackson, store manager, Royale Johnson, logistics and Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Carlos Forbes, co owner, Nathan Forbes, shop assistant, Robyn Jackson, store manager, Royale Johnson, logistics and Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

At weekends people have been queueing outside to give the gadget a go.

The self-balancing electric scooter doesn’t actually hover, but rolls along on the ground according to how the rider shifts his or her weight.

Laura, aged 25, said: “People will bring the kids in, and then the parents will jump on board and say they want one too!”

The traders fell into the business after trying to buy a swegway online and feeling uncomfortable about shelling out hundreds of pounds without any guidance as to what they were getting.

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Now the pair say they receive between 40 and 50 orders a day through their online shop and sell around 15 boards in the shop each weekend.

Laura said: “The phone goes all day, every day. People want the reassurance of speaking to a human who can tell them all about it.”

The boards, made in China, have been the transport of choice for celebrities such as singer Justin Bieber and rapper Wiz Khalifa, who have been pictured riding them.

But they come with a hefty price tag.

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

The cheapest scooters cost £309, and a deluxe version which includes bluetooth speakers so riders can blast out music or pick up phone calls is £399.

The scooters have also been deemed illegal to ride on the road and pavements in Britain by the Crown Prosecution Service.

However a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “It’s not something that has been flagged up to us at all.”

Laura said the legal status had prompted calls asking for information, yet had not affected sales.

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

One man from Oxford recently drove three hours each way to buy two scooters, while a local 68-year-old wrote to the owners to say he was the talk among his group of friends after he purchased a board.

Laura said: “If anything, it has created more interest.”

The firm is expanding and has already secured a pop-up shop in London’s trendy shipping container mall in Shoreditch next month.

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road teaches Star reporter Jessica Chia how to use a swegway. Picture: Andrew Roe

Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road teaches Star reporter Jessica Chia how to use a swegway. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Carlos Forbes, co owner, Nathan Forbes, shop assistant, Robyn Jackson, store manager, Royale Johnson, logistics and Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Carlos Forbes, co owner, Nathan Forbes, shop assistant, Robyn Jackson, store manager, Royale Johnson, logistics and Laura Hodgkinson, co owner, of Swegway, Ecclesall Road. Picture: Andrew Roe