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Ray Keener: Captain Glass Half Full, #1

Published May 18, 2012

I mentioned last time the debate at BLC and beyond: Are flat bike sales for the past 35 years a good thing or a bad thing?

Well, I'm a good-thing, glass-half-full kinda guy, as those who know me would confirm.

There are SO many positive indicators for the industry's future. Let's start with the state of retail.

While IBDs continue to lose unit share to the mass, bike sales as a percentage of overall sales for IBDs has gone down from the 60s into the 50s.

Which means more accessory sales and labor dollars, which, combined with higher bike margins, has driven IBD average gross margins from the high 30s into the low-to-mid 40s.

Average selling price continues to climb. And that must be a good thing. The latest Leisure Trends Group report for March 2012 says ASP is $736 retail!

And while the number of IBDs seems stable at around 4,000, there have been precipitous drops in other specialty retail sectors like camera stores and high-end audio outlets. Once again, flat is good!

And dare I say it, the fact that the quality of mass bikes has improved means better riding experiences across the board.

Thanks to Ryan Wiese for the use of his Captain Glass Half Full image. To find out more about Captain Glass Half Full, saving the universe with his positive attitude, visit


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