Slovenian and Croatian Market Merge
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – The landscape of the Slovenian bicycle market is drastically changing again. The Slovenian market is getting closely connected with Croatia, the newest member of EU. Soon these two small countries will transform into one market as far as bicycles are concerned.
The Slovenian cycling market characteristics have remained rather stable in the past year: very tight connections with suppliers from Italy and Austria, almost no direct imports from China, and a strong partnership with Taiwan. The two leading international sports retailers, Hervis and Intersport still hold significant market shares. It was the IBDs who faced the biggest changes.
Some of the largest brands, like Cube, Giant, and Specialized went dealer direct or selected only one distributor for both markets, Slovenia and Croatia. More brands are expected to soon follow this strategy of treating the two countries as one. The adjustments in the distribution brought a lot of benefits for the fans of certain brands, while some others still have to resolve issues with stocks and dealers.
Increase in value and quantity
The Eurostat numbers for Slovenia show an increase in both quantity and value, from less than 77,000 units in 2013 to over 80,000 in 2014. The average import price went up from €191 to €208. It all sound positive, but these figures don’t mean that the market has grown. It might have even declined.
Exports in 2014 more than doubled from 2013, meaning that more bikes were shipped forward to other markets. Keeping this in mind we estimate the local consumption at approximately 60,000 units. The Slovenian market also shows an increased interest in e-bikes, but demand is still not comparable with leading European countries. We are talking about hundreds of e-bikes, not thousands, and the main interest groups are commuters and tourist centres.