Early Bicycle Association research puts UK bike market down 4.8%

The first snippet of research stemming from a Bicycle Association link with Sports Marketing Surveys suggests the UK bike market is down by 4.8% like-for-like in the first half.

Drawing on data from 650 ‘cycling doors’, of which the BA told CI.N around 200 are independents, the figures suggest that sales for the first six months of 2019 are down 4.8% against the same period in 2018. In the present dataset, around half of those independent’s readings are factored in, said Simon Irons, who is leading the project on behalf of the BA. He added: “the balance is made up of the larger retailers,” at present.

If other market indicators are anything to go by, then an attached 0.5% decline in sales value suggests that higher ticket sales are slightly offsetting sales volume dips. The data is said to have included totals drawn from the sale of 263,000 SKUs.

Steve Garidis, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, notes: “We are delighted with the active support and encouragement we have had from so many brands, distributors and retailers of all sizes over the last 12 months. Today’s results are an important and exciting first step in revolutionising the cycling market for those supporters as well as the wider industry. Better data gives us more accurate and independent figures to build a stronger case for cycling at local and national level. We look forward to releasing the full, anonymised data set to all those who have supported us so far in the near future, and at the same time, we are welcoming more data providers and subscribers into the service every day, to help provide more and more robust findings.”

It is hoped that the study will be used to leverage Government in the near future. Should the BA be able to demonstrate demand on electric bikes, or kids bikes, then it stands to have more weight in calling for subsidies or funding of future BikeAbility schemes.

Further access to the findings will be available to subscribers.

“Once we go live with full functionality, users will be able to drill down to category and sub category level, by channel and by region and analyse their own performance for the latest month, three months and 12 month periods,” added Irons.

John Bushell, Managing Director of SMS concluded of the BA’s work: “We are proud to have worked closely with the Bicycle Association to deliver this valuable advance for the UK cycling trade. We are in the final stages of checking the data at category, channel and regional level, and once that is done, we look forward to supporting service users to help them get the most benefit from the findings.”

Earlier this year CI.N’s request for information from the Local Data Company brought about a figure that suggests a net closure of 68 cycling doors in 2018, though the figure is likely to be higher. The number of shops operating in the UK bike market will be discussed further on CI.N shortly.

This time last year, CyclingIndustry.News published its second annual Independent Retailer Channel Study, which drew on anonymised data from over 200 independent stores. Coming soon will be our third and most detailed study to date. To learn more about the exclusive opportunities available to partners, contact the editor here