BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — After three consecutive months of decline, IBDs rebounded and posted the first month of positive sales this year, according to Leisure Trends Group. Compared with May 2012, all merchandise gained 4 percent in units and 6 percent in dollars to reach $393 million, the largest May dollar volume since at least 2009.
While a very positive sign, it was not enough to offset a particularly difficult beginning to the year. Through May, all merchandise sales fell 7 percent to settle at $1.3 billion, $93 million shy of the same period last year.
“The first four months of 2013 were a stark contrast to the record sales of 2012—sales at IBDs were down nearly 11 percent. May, with its 6 percent growth compared to last year, provided a critical boost retailers desperately needed,” said Greg Shoenfeld, retail relations manager for Leisure Trends Group.
Historically more than 11 percent of total annual revenue and nearly 13 percent of bicycle units are sold in the month of May, making it a make-or-break period for retailers.
“Sales June through September will determine whether 2013 is another banner year for the industry or a pause compared to record-breaking sales driven by favorable weather in 2012,” Shoenfeld said.
All major bicycle categories contributed to both unit and dollar growth this May. Standout categories included carbon fiber sport/performance road bikes ($38 million, up 17 percent), 29er MTBs ($35 million, up 41 percent) and cross/hybrids ($45 million, up 13 percent). With sales of 26-inch models down 16 percent to $24 million, IBDs are still finding the balance between the two wheel sizes.
Shorts proved to be a major factor in overall apparel declines. Compared with May 2012, shorts lost 9 percent to sit just over $7 million. Jerseys, on the other hand, gained 1 percent to reach $6 million.
Hydration was another go-to category this May. Up 5 percent in units and 7 percent in dollars, the category contributed $8 million to IBD cash registers.
May 2013 vs. May 2012: Dollar Sales
- All Bicycles: +9%
- Road Bikes: +7%
- Mountain Bikes: +13%
- Transit/Fitness Bikes: +11%
- Lifestyle/Leisure Bikes: +6%
- Shoes: -5%
- Apparel: -4%
- Aftermarket Parts: +4%
- Aftermarket Accessories: +1%