March 1, 2015

Issue Highlights: 

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The March 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News includes coverage of efforts to control international pricing, a landmark new study on cycling participation commissioned by PeopleForBikes, and a feature on bike retailers setting up shop in mixed-use “hub” environments.

BRAIN Web editor Steve Frothingham interviewed experts both inside and outside the industry for his report on the steep challenges of maintaining minimum advertised pricing on an international basis — especially with the emergence of overseas online discounters in the Internet age.

“In the EU, minimum advertised price policies — increasingly popular in the U.S. IBD market — are just plain illegal. Indeed, almost any discussion of pricing between a supplier and a retailer could land both in legal hot water. And the larger the market share, of either the buyer or the seller, the more scrutiny they face from authorities,” Frothingham writes.

His report also includes a companion piece on how BRG Sports is working to maintain retail pricing for its products and clamp down on gray-market and counterfeit sales — efforts that cost the helmet company almost a half-million dollars last year.

Frothingham also reports on PeopleForBikes’ new ridership participation study that found 104 million Americans ages 3 or older, or 34 percent of the population, rode a bike at least once in the past year — a much higher level of participation than previous research from other sources has shown. The study also gives insight into why Americans ride or don’t ride, how they use bikes, and what would make them more likely to ride.

“I think the study is a landmark because, one, it’s the first time the industry has done a study like this from a pure biking standpoint, not as part of a larger study on different sports and activities,” said Roger Gierhart, Trek Bicycle’s director of forecasting and procurement and president of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. “And two, I think the methodology is rock solid.”

The study was compiled by Breakaway Research based on a 10-minute online survey of more than 16,000 adults.

Rounding out the cover of the March 1 issue, features editor Val Vanderpool reports on bike shops thriving in mixed-use developments that bring together complementary businesses or combine retail, residential and commercial elements.

“Retailers … have the advantage of being surrounded by like-minded business owners who often share a goal of building community, and that can result in retailer cross-pollination,” Vanderpool writes.

That has certainly been the experience of Rocket Electrics owner Nicole Zinn, who opened her e-bike shop three years ago in a mixed retail/residential development in Austin, Texas.

“Without the other businesses and residents, we know that our foot traffic would be significantly less,” said Zinn. “The shop piques the curiosity of the residents too, and a number of them have bought bikes from us.”

In our monthly Life Cycle section on the urban/recreational market, Vanderpool checks in on folding bike retailer Portapedal Bike and gets the skinny on the hot sellers at the Phoenix-area shop. She also talks with the owners of Tempe, Ariz.-based Belmont Distribution, which is bringing such British brands as Pashley, Moulton and bag maker Carradice to the U.S. market.

Additionally, the March 1 issue is our annual Taipei Cycle Edition, featuring a preview of this year’s sold-out show — where electronics are expected to take center stage March 18-21 — as well as BRAIN’s inside look at Taiwan manufacturers VP Components and Marwi.

The current issue of BRAIN also includes the stories:

  • Warm weather brought out bike buyers last year, BPSA reports
  • In memoriam: Park Tool founder Hawkins professionalized shop service
  • CABDA show returns strong as ever, will double size for 2016
  • BMC gains traction in North America following move
  • Evil Bikes looks for fresh start after manufacturing woes
  • TBI conference focuses on increasing participation in tri
  • BRAIN selects Now Bikes for Retail Remodel Project
  • Online sales, MAP top discussion at IBD Summit
  • SmartEtailing to bring real-time sales data to industry

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