Renewed Interest in Bicycles Bodes Well for Independent Dealers

Independent Bicycle Dealer retail bicycle sales, which declined 2% to $1.57 billion in 2013, experienced a turnaround in the first quarter (Q1) of 2014 (Jan.-March), increasing 6% to $270.2 million vs. the $254.6 million generated in Q1’13, according to The NPD Group.

While total bicycle sales were down in 2013, sales for Transit/​Fitness bicycles, which include commuters and hybrids, grew 5% from $329.7 million in 2012 to $347.8 million in 2013; and this upward trend continued in Q1’14, resulting in 13% dollar sales growth.

Categories that saw sales rebound in Q1’14 included Mountain bicycles, which, after a 1% sales decline in 2013, experienced an increase of 8% when compared to Q1’13. Increased sales of 27.5‑inch bikes also helped to drive growth.

To reinvigorate the marketplace, manufacturers introduced the 27.5‑inch wheel mountain bikes,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This new technology created much excitement among bike enthusiasts, and is on track to reach 15% or more share of all mountain bike dollar sales by the end of 2014.”

Consumers' renewed interest in bicycles for transportation and fitness needs, as well as the introduction of new hybrids and models, bodes well for independent bike retailers as we enter the prime bicycling season.

According to Ad-​ology Research, consumers in the market for a bicycle are considerably more likely to be single and between the ages of 18 and 24.  Thirty-​eight percent of bicycle shoppers are urban consumers, who likely use bicycles as modes of transportation.  Outdoor billboards are a good way to connect with this audience.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.