UK bike market volumes down while value rises modestly to £925 million

The UK bike market has seen an overall downward trend in volume sales since the middle of the current decade – approximately 17% since 2014 – according to Mintel statistics.

The research group estimates the volume of the UK bicycle market in 2018 was at 2.5 million units, down 3.8% on 2017.

Market value grew a modest 1.6% in 2018 to £925 million (compared to 2017).

PAC (parts, accessories and clothing) was estimated to make up just over half of the total market value (£1 billion in sales in 2018). PAC has been more stable that bicycles in recent years, according to Mintel.

Mintel’s in-depth report also indicated that the independent bike shop sector had struggled, with mass market retailers like Halfords seeing flat sales – while premium bike brands and “specialist suppliers” had seen stronger growth. The research firm noted added pressure on independents, with bike suppliers who had traditionally used third party bike shops to sell their products increasingly moving direct-to-consumer.

Dynamic e-Bikes

Mintel estimated that around 70,000 e-Bikes were sold in to the UK bike market in 2018, with imports up 8% and values growing 15%.

That finding reflects other research indicating the e-Bike market is particularly dynamic – ExtraEnergy found e-Bikes dominated standard bicycles at Eurobike.

Mintel’s finding that overall volumes have dipped over the last five years reflects views that particular bike markets – like the US – have actually been largely static for over a decade.

While there are hopes that a possible economic downturn might provide a new wave of cycling demand in the short term, the industry needs to look beyond its traditional customers to grow the market, or face continuing to fight for share among the same group of punters.

There’s more data in Mintel’s full report (paid for).

CyclingIndustry.News is currently seeking the help of the UK’s bike shops in our annual Independent Retail Study to gauge the independent bike shop channel – in return for data and a goodie bag.