PHILADELPHIA, PA (BRAIN)—The Bicycle Supplier Parts Association (BPSA) reports that October on October shipments to retailers fell by 11 percent, and sales fell by 5 percent over 2008. October bicycle imports are also down over last year, according to the Department of Commerce import statistics.
The veracity of BPSA’s sales reports have been questioned this year, but it remains significant that sales this October were not above October 2008. A year ago in September and October the stock market lost a quarter of its value and consumers reigned in spending. It appears bike consumers were even tighter with their wallets than last year moving into the holiday season.
Road bikes were the only pavement category to show growth month on month, all other pavement categories were down, including hybrids. Dual-suspension posted two percent growth in October, a surprising success since January through October the category remained off 15 percent. Rigid mountain bikes show an impressive percentage gain of 87 percent in October, but that represents a gain of only 210 units.
On the inventory front import statistics show suppliers attempting to reduce 700c wheel inventory—only 68,008 700c units were imported in October. This is a substantial reduction from the 115,786 units a month usually imported since January.
Road and hybrid imports from China, averaged 83,373 units a month through September, fell to 41,362 in October. Imports from Taiwan in October were 24,349 units, down from the monthly average of 32,413. While October saw the first substantial reduction in 700c imports, with sales appearing to be slowing even faster.