May 15, 2016

Issue Highlights: 

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The latest BRAIN print issue looks at first quarter inventory levels, the national growth in cycling infrastructure, and Electra’s move into an expanded softgoods and helmets line, among other stories.

In the inventory article, Matt Wiebe reports that suppliers had 40 percent more bikes on hand at the end of March than they had at the same point in 2015. But Wiebe reports that a sales uptick in March was making industry experts feel better about the bulging warehouses.

“I am sure everyone wanted a better start to the season, but March being up 9 percent in units and 6 percent in dollars is very encouraging,” said Michael Forte, director of operations for Felt Bicycles and chairman of the BPSA Statistics Committee.

Meanwhile, BRAIN’s Val Vanderpool reported that cycling infrastructure improvements in many regions has led to increased sales in those regions. While many new bike commuters are re-purposing old bikes or picking up inexpensive get-around bikes on Craigslist, some retailers are seeing more sales, while suppliers report growth in sales or commuter/urban bikes.

BRAIN’s Lynette Carpiet reports that Trek-owned Electra Bicycle Company is broadening its assortment of branded accessories — for on the bike and off. The brand is now offering everything from beach towels and flip flops to a new helmet line. And all the Electra items feature branding and colors that match Electra bike models.

The new issue also contains our usual array of columns and features that have never been seen online, including LifeCycle, State of Retail, Global Briefs, Mad Dog Unleashed, Trade Watch, Tech Briefs and Through the Grapevine.