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The Bike Co-op's Lindsay Gaskins: 'Every retailer has diversified their offerings'

Published October 16, 2020
Part 7 of BRAIN's Crystal Ball series.

Editor's note: For a feature in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Retail Editor Ray Keener spoke with 14 leaders on the supplier side of the industry. Ray spoke with leaders of major bike brands, component suppliers, e-bike startups, accessory makers and more. We will be running sections of that article online this month.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — It’s been a hectic and unprecedented several months for our industry and many others. Fortunately for our companies and retailers, hectic has meant managing demand rather than fighting for survival.

Now that the season is waning, inventories are catching up (in some cases) and suppliers are catching their collective breaths, we reached out to a cross-section of suppliers and service providers to get their take on the future.

Lindsay Gaskins, President, The Bike Cooperative

While we don't have a crystal ball, we believe that the current boom will last at least through 2020 and into 2021 based on feedback from our retailers across the country.

Getting exercise by biking will remain a trend for years after the pandemic. While some gyms and fitness centers are opening, people are less inclined to use them as COVID is still a risk.

There has been growth at both the high- and low-end of the market. With the inventory shortages and increased demand, it's easier to sell higher-end bikes and e-bikes. Another indication of that: we're seeing record usage of our consumer financing program.

Every retailer we speak to has diversified their offerings in order to keep product on the floor. The general consensus is that customers don't care what the brand on the bike is, they care about the store they are purchasing from.

Bike retailers seem to be finally out of the reactive mode and are heading into the proactive mode. We're pushing hard for our members to think about targeted marketing to make these new buyers into life-long customers.

We also think it is a good time to pick up some additional talent for your team as other retailers are so depressed. So we are offering advice to be aggressive in your hiring efforts to make sure you have a strong team for the holiday season and next spring.

Lindsay Gaskins
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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