WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN)—Suppliers brought in 3.8 million fewer bikes through August compared to the same period last year. That’s a 28 percent drop for the first eight months of 2011, according to the latest figures from the Commerce Department.
The sharp decline in bike imports reflects slow sales this year and high levels of inventory—particularly juvenile bikes—that were carried over from last year’s holiday season at mass-market retailers.
Mass-market suppliers misread the market last year and have been trying to sell down inventory this year. Over the first eight months, imports of sub-20-inch, 20-inch and 24-inch bikes were down 37, 44 and 19 percent, respectively.
And it looks like suppliers are being proactive about not being caught with too many bikes again this holiday season. Comparing imports for the month, August on August, sub-20-inch, 20-inch and 24-inch bikes were down 55, 66 and 59 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, unit imports of mountain, cruiser and comfort bikes were down 810,174, a 20 percent drop through August. Month on month, imports of this category dipped 41 percent.
Road bikes were the only category to post a gain through August. Unit imports were up 191,738, an increase of 22 percent.