US Dealers Still Struggling with Inventory
BOULDER, USA — Shipments by suppliers to dealers in the United States dropped by 15% in volume in the first three months of 2017. Shipments in March were in particular low compared to last year indicating that retailers in the US are still struggling with high inventory levels.
This is reported by the US trade magazine Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN). It also reported that electric bicycles are performing outstandingly compared to all other categories. “Suppliers selling e-bikes saw an increase in business over the first quarter as shipments grew 88%, but that is about the only good news in Q1.”
Bicycle Product Suppliers Association statistics
Referring to market statistics compiled by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association BRAIN stated that over 80,000 bikes less were shipped in Q1 accounting for a loss of over 32 million US dollar compared to the same period of 2016.
In March shipments dropped even harder with 27% on the figures for March 2016. “This may suggest retailers do not have a bullish take on the upcoming sales season, or they still have unsold inventory they want to move first,” concluded BRAIN.
Switch to omni-channel
The drop in shipments to retailers could in part also be caused by the switch to omni-channel distribution strategies by suppliers. Accell North America for instance is linking its online sales to mobile bike shops. The company has for its brands Diamondback, Raleigh, Redline and Izip started a cooperation with Beeline Bikes, a mobile bike shop franchisee operator, which is fulfilling online consumer orders.
MY 2018 Specialized bikes
Unsold inventory is also causing major brands like Specialized to change its ever earlier introduction of new ModelYear bikes, also causing shows like Eurobike and Taipei Cycle to reschedule. Introduction of ModelYear 2018 Specialized bikes is not taking place beginning July but this September.
According to the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association market statistics as reported on by BRAIN, next to e-bikes growth was also recorded for commuter, 24-inch kids’, BMX and 29er front-suspension models. In the first quarter the biggest drops took place with fat bikes (down 34%) and with lifestyle and comfort bike shipments (down 30%).