Our "thing" has always been custom builds, ever since I started 718 Cyclery in my backyard 5 years ago. This segment of our business is growing in that I believe more and more people are finding that a collaboratively built custom bike works best for them. In NYC, most folks usually don't have the space or budget for the 3 or 4 bikes that will do everything they need. Consequently, we find ourselves at this intersection, helping people design and build the bike that will be a commuter, racer and kid hauler ("oh, and can it have a basket")
Working this way is certainly harder than whipping a bike of the rack for a retail transaction, but we feel the relationships we build during our collaborative build process creates customers that last a lifetime, and are not based on us competing with our neighbors for razor-thin retail bike margins.