DEER VALLEY, UT (BRAIN) Monday July 23 2012 5:09 PM MT—Charlie Cooper, president of Leisure Trends Group, delivered some good news at Raleigh’s dealer meeting Monday—year-to-date unit sales for retailers are up 3.5 percent, with dollar sales up a strong 9.5 percent.
Continued warm weather helped push record sales May sales with sales in May alone up 4 percent over last year to $372 million, with year-to-date sales up 11 percent to $1.4 billion. That came despite a drop-off in overall unit sales in April and May, which may reflect a lack of inventory at the dealer level.
Still, the early season sales spurt has slowed and Cooper predicts that by year’s end retail sales will post growth in the high single digits.
But for Raleigh dealers the numbers are much better, Cooper said. The Kent, Washington, company is on a steep growth curve with units sold up a staggering 241 percent and dollar sales up 281 percent year to date. Of course, Cooper added, those numbers start from a small base.
Still, Raleigh dealers should take a bullish view of the company’s future. “ We’re very optimistic about Raleigh’s opportunities for future growth whether in a flat market or a growth market,” said Cooper.
Cooper prefaced his remarks, however, telling some 100 Raleigh retailers that Leisure Trends is an independent third-party retail tracking company. The data the company collects reflects reported retail sales from more than 350 reporting dealers.
Raleigh, recently acquired by the Accell Group, a Dutch company, has over the last three years moved to upgrade the quality and graphics of its various lines, Raleigh president Steve Meineke said in a separate interview.
Based on the latest Leisure Trends data, bicycle sales account for 49 percent of all sales made through IBDs, with apparel, helmets and shoes accounting for 11.5 percent of sales followed by aftermarket parts at 15.7 percent; aftermarket accessories, 16.7 percent; and sales and service accounting for 7 percent of revenue at retail.
Helping drive sales has been a major shift from 26-inch mountain bikes to 29ers. The average selling price for 29ers is approximately $600, compared with $400 for 26-inch models. The only category showing a decline, Cooper pointed out, was the cruiser/comfort category, down about 7.7 percent in units and 2 percent in dollars.
While most dealers could have compiled a list of the top five brands in terms of units sold without doing any research, Cooper reaffirmed what most in the industry know: Trek and Specialized dominate the market, followed by Cannondale, Giant and Raleigh.