BMX sector looks to stay steady for 2019, while hub stores remain key for the market

CIN spoke with the BMX industry for their take on how the market is performing, their expectations for 2019 and where the future lies for the sector. We spoke with Mark Noble, Marketing Manager, BMX Category, CSG UK & Matt Nicklen of Entity BMX…

What kind of year did BMX have in 2018, compared with 2017? 

Mark Noble: In the main, it was pretty similar for us year-on-year – our sales of bikes were by and large the same, in terms of numbers for GT and for Mongoose. We were actually up a bit with
GT bike sales. Obviously Wethepeople moved elsewhere, so that we no longer have that high-end, high price complete bike line any more – so we upped our game with GT, evolved the bikes and
expanded the range top to bottom and it’s gone down really well. We’ve done pretty well through the second half of the year – we also sold out of BMX race bikes way faster than was anticipated, for example. BMX went pretty nuts in 2018 what with the whole Olympics thing going on, it seemed freestyle contests stepped up a gear and things got serious – maybe too serious – but the riding level now is incredible; I’m glad we’ve got a few riders in that mix for sure.

Matt Nicklen: BMX gets better every year for us! The scene is going strong and growing, we held five events in 2018 which is beneficial to making a scene grow.

What are your expectations for 2019? 

Mark Noble: More of the same – with more positive things to talk about – we’re looking to expand GT again with new models, likewise with Mongoose – and our 2020 bikes already look very
promising. Business in general will be tricky of course, we know that, but we’ll work with dealers as best as we can to help everyone out. We’ll continue to support BMX riders to help spread the word both online and at events, we’ll support as many contests and jams as we can, we’ll try and help make things happen. International contests again will grow, along with coverage, and it’ll be more in the public eye: no doubt about that. IBD dealers will have to work harder and faster though, more creatively, with more riders and on a local level.

Matt Nicklen: Just to keep it fun and relatable, and to spread the love for BMX. I’d like to see more reps on the road and more support for the small businesses. It’s not about mega sales to big online shops slashing prices. It’s all about having a “hub” for the scene.

What would have to change in the market long term to give BMX a significant boost?

Mark Noble: Well, going back to IBD BMX stores and a local level – I can cite some examples of positive BMX shops that have grown into being the hub of their scenes, becoming a real destination store for the locals. Rather than just sitting on their hands and giving up in the face of online or discount direct-to-retail brands, the BMX shops that are supporting local heroes, putting on or sponsoring local jams, who are running BMX video screenings, keeping bikes dialled, and giving more value to customers – those shops are putting back into BMX and feeling the benefit in return. It’s not easy work, but it’s positive. The scene will become stronger, riders more positive, more skateparks and spots will be built, and it’ll grow. That’s the ideal right there. That, and new riders coming into BMX hopefully understanding that ‘buy cheap / buy twice’ also applies to BMX bikes as well, especially online B2C brands. A positive, collaborative push in the right direction will help everyone in the industry for sure.

Matt Nicklen: More focus on the core stores and the guys working so hard to keep their scene alive. The internet doesn’t help scenes, doesn’t give back to locals or even give you that friendly face-to-face service. People need to fall in love with BMX and mould it into their passion! Robots don’t have souls so how can they spread the love?