BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Leisure Trends Group projects that IBD sales for the year through September have reached more than $3 billion, up 7 percent compared with the same period in 2011.
However, the research firm also said that in all product categories, inflation is rising at a greater rate than prices being charged at retail, eroding dealers’ margins.
Using sales data from more than 360 independent bicycle dealers to represent sales throughout the industry, Leisure Trends reports a small uptick in bicycle unit sales (up 0.7 percent to 1.9 million) but a nearly 5 percent increase in average retail price for bikes, to $752.26.
Dealer margins for all categories stand at 41.4 percent, down 0.5 percent from 41.6 percent a year earlier.
For the third quarter, bicycle unit sales sagged 2.5 percent, but dollar sales rose 2.3 percent during the period on the strength of the 29-inch mountain, transit/fitness and children’s categories. Road bike unit sales dipped almost 2.5 percent, with dollar sales inching up 1 percent.
July, traditionally the biggest sales month for retailers, turned out to be the only month so far this year not to exceed comparable year-ago performance. Bicycle unit sales were off 2.5 percent in July, but higher prices for those bikes lifted sales dollars 3 percent to $1.1 million.
Several factors may have contributed to the July doldrums, according to Greg Shoenfeld, retail relations manager at Leisure Trends. These include: a strong July 2011 sales comparison due to cold, damp weather the preceding spring; robust Q1 2012 sales amid favorable weather that dried up consumer demand later in the selling season; and supply difficulties at leading brands spurring consumers to hold out for 2013 product.