AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - It’s safe to say that e-Bikes are a genuine trend in the Netherlands. In the past few years electric bicycles have become so popular that even car brands are using them nowadays as incentives to sell their 4-wheelers.
In case The Netherlands is setting the trend for the whole of Europe (and who is denying that?) then the bike sector is in for a treat as in The Netherlands e-Bikes now count for 26% of all the money dealers make from selling new bicycles.
“With e-Bikes a market opened up that is not to be looked upon in terms of volume as with regular bikes; it’s about revenue and profit.” This quote is from a spokesperson from GfK Retail Tracking - the company whose retail panel is able to pinpoint exactly how many e-Bikes were sold in Holland last year through various distribution channels.
That number stood at 124,250. The majority, about 80%, were sold through dealers at an average sales price of € 1,945. No other distribution channel in The Netherlands is able to sell e-Bikes at such prices. Dutch department stores like V&D or Hema sell electric bikes for prices just below € 1,000. DIY stores, meanwhile, can only sell them for about half that amount (€ 528).
Of the total of 124,250 e-Bikes sold last year in Holland, 97,800 were sold through dealers, where they accounted for 17% of total turnover. But despite freezing temperatures during the first two months of 2009, during which the sale of regular bicycles dropped with 21% compared with the same period in 2008, sale of e-Bikes climbed further.
The harsh winter couldn’t stop the growing demand: in the first two months of 2009 e-Bikes accounted for 26% of turnover at dealers.
“Looking at all this it is remarkable that about 20% of all dealers in Holland are still not selling electric bicycles. They miss out on about € 135,000 in turnover which is on average what a dealer is per year now making with e-Bikes,” says the GfK Retail Tracking spokesperson in one of the recent editions of the Dutch Dealer Magazine, Tweewieler.
On the current bestsellers in e-Bikes, GfK Retail Tracking says: “At dealer level models from Sparta and Batavus account for about half of all sales. About one third of sales are Gazelle and Giant while at fifth place stands Koga-Miyata.”
“Price is not an issue for consumers shopping for an e-Bike,” continues GfK Retail Tracking in Tweewieler. “Looking at the prices for e-Bikes at Sparta, Batavus, Gazelle, Giant and Koga, dealers tend to include cheap private labels in their range. However, they should consider the fact that consumers don’t shop for low prices at dealers. Instead they look for advice, service and quality.”