Slovenia: Slight Drop in 2016, but Growth in E-Sector
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – The numbers are showing a similar picture to last year’s, but the landscape of the Slovenian bicycle market is definitely changing. It’s getting more and more connected with Croatia. Also another big sports retailer entered the market and the interest in e-bikes is finally picking up.
The last two years were marked by the market mergers of Slovenia and neighboring Croatia. This makes total sense after Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th member state. Most of the bigger players on the bicycle market now have shared their distribution agencies with the difference that Slovenia still has a better developed market and bigger demand for middle to high-end bikes.
Imports to Slovenia increased in 2015. However, viewing the detailed Eurostat data for the first eight months of 2016 it shows that imports have again dropped slightly. But only by a couple of percentage points.
Yearly Slovenian bicycle sales still stands at about 55,000 units while exports are still a consequence of shipments of bicycles through Slovenia. But it’s going to be interesting to see what will happen with exports in the near future, since home appliance giant Gorenje Group has invested into its bicycle division. The company bought a license for using the Rog bike trademark. Next to that OEM manufacturing is included in their plans. The Gorenje Group has built a modern facility with assembly lines in Velenje and is now operational.
Bicycle Import to Slovenia (in units and euro)
|Average value per unit||198,01||207,93||191,29||198,51|
Interesting changes are also happening within the supply chain of the Slovenian bicycle market. Currently Austria leads the ranking of most important suppliers with Italy and Taiwan following.
Generally speaking the trend is directed towards European suppliers and warehouses and less towards Asia. This is with the exception of Cambodia and Philippines.
E-bikes are a different story altogether in Slovenia. The market for electric bicycles is growing and is in fact the fastest growing segment. Most of the e-bikes sold originate from China. There is lots of interest in urban and eMTBs. But not those of the highest price levels. However, the sales numbers are still small and e-bike market shares are small. Nevertheless, the sale of only 600 to 800 electric bicycles represents a huge increase over 2015. Next to that an even bigger growth is expected for 2017.
A development that cannot be missed in the small Slovenian market is the arrival of Decathlon. The sports retail giant and the biggest bicycle retailer is entering the market with, for now, just one store located in the Capital Ljubljana. With other retail giants Intersport and Hervis already operating at several locations the market is getting even more saturated. IBDs have to adjust and are focusing more on parts and accessories sales as well as providing excellent workshop service. Meanwhile online retailers are, like in any European country growing stronger than ever before.