MELBOURNE, Australia (BRAIN)—The Ausbike tradeshow wrapped in Melbourne on Monday with 150 exhibitors showing 1,000 brands to thousands of trade and public visitors over three days.
The show format this year consisted of one trade day followed by two public days, the reverse from Ausbike’s first two years. More than 2,000 trade visitors turned up at the Melbourne Showgrounds in Victoria—an increase from 1,700 last year—and between 8,000 and 9,000 consumers, said Brad Alcock, who handles expo sales for Ausbike.
“We were really pleased,” Alcock said. “Our trade registrations were up, public visitors were up. Speaking to exhibitors, it was hard to find anybody not happy with the way the show had worked out for them.”
Brands present were mixed between P & A and bike companies with representation from Giant—Australia’s top selling bike brand—Focus, Avanti, Scott, Cervélo, Rocky Mountain, Marin and Jamis. Brands like KTM and Ghost, who are new to the market or looking at expanding into Australia, also exhibited.
But the challenging business environment in Australia kept some companies away, said Simon Head, Ausbike’s director.
“It has been a very difficult trading period for many companies in the last year. The economic down turn and credit crunch has effected, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers alike,” Head said. Another factor impacting the market is the strength of the Australian dollar, causing international online e-tailers to ship in low cost goods that compete with local retailers. But, buzz over Aussie Cadel Evans’ win in the Tour de France is bringing more attention to cycling in the country and could boost business.
Next year, Ausbike is considering a date change to October to court heavyweights Specialized and Trek, neither of which attended this year due to Ausbike’s dates falling just before Eurobike.