Price slashing on bikes helps boost industry, says report

New bike sales could reach almost £1billion in 2024

Young man checking out at new bicycle in bikeshop
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Heaving discounting on the price of bikes is helping to stimulate industry growth, according to a report by market research firm Mintel.  

The number of bikes sold in the UK fell by 11% in 2023, down to 1.9million. Mintel’s data forecasts a year-on-year uptick of 12% in 2024, thanks to an ease in the cost of living crisis and industry-wide discounting. 

Following a boom in trade during the pandemic, consumer demand slumped, leaving brands and retailers with high inventory levels. 

In response, many launched cut-price sales, with Sigma Sports offering up to 50% off bike models, while Halfords and Decathlon slashed prices by 20% or more. 

“A recovery in demand is now underway,” said Mintel director Paul Davies. “In the near-term, easing inflation and wage growth are helping to improve consumer confidence while heavy discounting by retailers is helping to boost sales.”

The firm’s five-year outlook for the industry is positive, with the report forecasting that “both volume and value of sales are set to rebound in 2024”. 

The report says: “With inflationary pressures easing, total new bike sales are expected to bounce back with double digit growth in 2024, and then keep on rising over the next several years.”

Mintel’s data goes as far as to predict that bike sales in the UK will reach almost £1billion this calendar year. This could then rise to £1.5billion by 2028. 

In recent comments to Cycling Weekly, Canyon CEO Nicholas De Ros Wallace explained that “large discount campaigns” have proved beneficial to his brand.

“It not only led to increased sales, but also inspired new and existing customers to interact and engage with Canyon," he said, "and ultimately to enlarging the cycling community."

Although Canyon’s sales volume increased by 23% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023, price slashing negatively impacted the company's profits

In the wake of the administration of Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles, Mintel warned that smaller retailers “could go out of business” if they try to compete with industry-wide discounting.

The firm expects e-bikes be a key catalyst of growth in the market. “Despite their high costs, it is the most popular type of bike cyclists plan to buy over the next 12 months,” the report said. 

Mintel’s data is based on a survey conducted in July 2023 of 2,000 internet users, all of whom either currently ride a bicycle or would consider riding one in the future. 

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