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Imports Hit Record Low Through September

Published November 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Suppliers imported 11.2 million bikes through September this year, a 28 percent drop from the 15.5 million units brought in over the same period last year, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

Unit imports haven’t been this low for the third quarter in more than seven years. Most of the shortfall came from kids’ bikes—3.5 million fewer units—as suppliers sell down surplus inventory from last year and come to terms with a soft market. Through September, sidewalk bikes were down 36 percent compared with last year, and 20-inch imports were down 43 percent.

The decrease in imports was less drastic month-on-month for September: Sidewalk imports were down 30 percent and 20-inch were down 35 percent.

Mass-market suppliers usually ramp up supply in September to be well stocked for Black Friday sales, which kicks off their high season. But even month-on-month imports were down 30 percent or more, which suggests they are not optimistic about parents purchasing bikes for their kids this holiday season.

—Matt Wiebe

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