<b>Czech Republic 2008:</b> Rising Prices As Czech Crown Drops
PRAGUE, Czech Republic Next to Poland also in the Czech Republic prices for bikes are on the rise as the national currency is falling in value against the euro and dollar. According to an estimate by the association of specialized bicycle retailers, about 370,000 bikes were sold in the Czech Republic in 2008. Most of these bikes were imported (87%) and just a minority (13%) were of home provenance.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Next to Poland also in the Czech Republic prices for bikes are on the rise as the national currency is falling in value against the euro and dollar. According to an estimate by the association of specialized bicycle retailers, about 370,000 bikes were sold in the Czech Republic in 2008. Most of these bikes were imported (87%) and just a minority (13%) were of home provenance.
In value terms, exports have been higher than imports, although last year the surplus was almost halved: the export surplus was € 17.9m in 2007, while in 2008 it was only € 9.4m.
The main export markets for the Czech Republic are Germany, Holland, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, which absorb 94% of shipments. The remaining 6% goes to another 26 countries. In total, the value of bike exports from the CR in 2008 was € 55.7m.
Leading bicycle exporters include Bike Fun International, Master Bike, Maxbike, Fort Frame, Duratec, Race Bike, Olpran, Novus Bike, 4Ever, Dama Sport, BPS Bicycle Industrial, Citic-Marmes Bicycles CZ, Mrazek, PELL’S and KOVL.
The unambiguous leader in bicycle imports is Taiwan, followed by China, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia. Of total imports of € 46.3m, Goods imported from these countries accounted for € 44.1m. The remaining 5% is shared by 19 other countries.
Both wholesalers and retail shops participated in bicycle and accessory imports. The most important by turnover were Universe Agency (Author), Merida Czech, Progress Cycle, Bretton, Aspire, Lom Trading, KCK Cyklosport, Paul Lange and Kulhanek s.r.o.
The Czech Republic has one bicycle retailer (IBD) per 12,775 inhabitants. In comparison, in the Netherlands there is one shop for 7,566 inhabitants and in Germany 13,728 inhabitants. The sales structure in the IBD network is as follows: 59% revenue from bicycle sales, 36% revenue from accessory sales and 6% from bicycle service. In the IBD network, made up of 800 shops, 230,000 bicycles are sold every year, which equals 288 bikes per shop.
Future trends in the CR
One can expect an increase in bicycle sales and production over the long term. The share of bicycles sold in retail chains is forecast to grow, along with a bigger share for Internet shops and auctions. Sales of accessories (electronics, GPS, cyclo computers, etc.) are predicted to rise, while the outlook for the electric bike business is said to be bright.
In 2008, the EU-supported ‘Operational Programme Industry and Enterprise’ extended assistance to bicycle maker Alutec. In the short term, there will be a period of economic stagnation and depression. The Czech crown value is falling against the euro and US dollar by up to 10%, which is leading to inflationary pressure and rising prices. We can expect a decrease in purchasing power as a result of unemployment and increased interest in bicycles as a means of transport. We also expect pressure by citizens on local authorities to build urban and municipal cycling transport infrastructure.