Slovenian Bicycles Sales Back To 2011 Level
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – The 2013 bicycle market statistics for Slovenia show a striking resemblance to 2011, which means the bicycle market grew again last year. However, most dealers will tell you a different story.
The Slovenian bicycle market is changing, growing a little bit and getting more connected with European suppliers. Imports rose to almost 77,000 bikes, an increase of more than 5% compared to 2012 and almost the same total as in 2011. About 12,000 of those bikes are transshipped to other markets like Hungary and Croatia. This brings the consumption to a stable 65,000 bicycles. The market share of e-bikes is still very low. For most Slovenians the prices are still too high, but the most important distributors expect to sell more in the near future.
Slovenia is still on the path to recovery and the banks had toughened their business conditions. As a result financing remains one of the main issues.
Importers also feel a lot of stress due to payment difficulties, even from the dealers who had no problems in the past but are now facing strong pressure from the big sports retailers and on-line stores.
Last year Italy became the main supplier for Slovenia, with Taiwan now in second place, and Austria in third. The first two had always been in the lead, but it is interesting to follow the bigger supply from their northern neighbour. For sure it has a lot to do with the strength of sports retailer Hervis. It is estimated that Hervis and Intersport together are the market leaders. They hold about 50% of the bicycle market.
Sales of road bikes and mountain bikes with the retail price of up to €1000 are stable. Finally, we have reports of much higher 29er sales. In the high-end range the battle is on for every sale, and the dealers are getting more and more flexible.
It remains to be seen how Croatia’s entry to the European Union will influence the market. In 2013, some Slovenian companies sold more bikes in Croatia, since the dealers wanted to have a better stock under the old, more favourable customs system. Now we see the first indications that just one brand representative, either from Slovenia or Croatia, will handle both countries.