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Paceline's Steve Mathews: '2020 is a year like no other'

Published October 15, 2020
Part 6 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.

Steve Mathews, President, Paceline Products

2020 is a year like no other. Sales have been unpredictable month-to-month, but overall we have seen growth. It will be interesting to see how the last three months turn out.

Our best guess is that the current demand for bikes will not last at the same level through 2021, once the supply catches up with demand. But that is just what we hear from shops, as we just sell accessories, our own brand Chamois Butt'r and others.

Our sales have softened in July and August, and we've heard from dealers that they still can't get the bikes they want. If consumers can't find bikes in shops, they may be less likely to go in for accessories like we sell. Or it may be attributed to the typical August slowdown due to hot weather and the anticipation of schools starting up.

We hope that our sales will strengthen again this fall. If fall sales are stronger than past years, that may be an indicator that the growth we have experienced this year will be sustained at least into the first part of next year.

When we are out riding in the Kansas City area, we talk to cyclists who are riding for the first time ever. Our hope is that at least some of those people will continue to ride and embrace cycling long-term.

If that happens and the industry finds ways to encourage them to keep riding, everyone in the industry will benefit, and that will translate to continued growth in 2021.

Paceline Products' Steve Mathews.
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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