Blog: Rise of the E-Tailers!
While the cycling industry has been riding the e-assist bicycle wave for the past 2-3 years we are now seeing the rise of specialty ‘e-tailers’ who sell nothing but e-assist bicycles. What is the main force driving this type of focus by the owners of these stores?
For the past three years I have watched such a specialty e-tailer open and grow here in Lyon, France. What is driving this store’s sales is the most affluent group of bicycle buyers in human history – those people born between 1946 and 1964. While there are certainly buyers across all age groups this segment contains the early adopters as the e-assist bike allows it to continue riding a city, mountain or road bike as they have in the past.
While nearly every cycling retailer is now selling some selection of e-assist cycling vehicles these specialty stores are still dominating the market. They are dominating mainly due to their experience and ability to sell and service e-assist cycling vehicles in a much more professional manner than non-specialty stores. More importantly, the margins they are making in all areas including parts, sales and service is giving them confidence to expand rapidly by city, region and, perhaps, for a few players, on a global basis.
Of course, like any technology trend, the chasm is lurking and many e-assist brands and retailers will fall into it and never be there to take advantage of the surge when e-assist cycling vehicles enter the mainstream market. So, proceed with caution and keep your batteries charged!