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Indoor trainers, kids bikes, lead cycling sales for March

Published May 8, 2020
According to the latest NPD report, trainer and stationary bike sales post triple-digit increases.

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (BRAIN) — Sales of cycling indoor trainers and rollers grew nationally by 268% year-over-year in March, and recreational and children's/BMX bike sales also increased as the COVID-19 pandemic led to states issuing stay-at-home orders.

Besides the trainer and rollers sales increase, March retail sales data from The NPD Group showed that stationary bike sales were up 170%, adult recreational bikes up 121% and children's/BMX bikes up 56%. IBD repair service sales jumped 20%.

"Consumers are looking for outdoor- and kid-friendly activity to better tolerate the challenges associated with stay-at-home orders, and cycling fits the bill well," said Dirk Sorenson, NPD sports industry analyst. "Growth is stemming largely from children's, BMX, and adult leisure bikes that carry a more approachable price-point than some of the more expensive bike styles that were selling well prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Ultimately, more people are likely riding today than in years' past."

With schools closed and sports leagues canceled, parents are investing in home-based recreational equipment for their kids and themselves.

Goals and nets, basketball systems, and balls were March growth leaders within sports equipment. Soccer, lacrosse, and hockey goals and nets generated a combined $13.5 million in sales for March, up 38% over the prior year. Golf nets and screens increased by 144%, and swinging and putting mats up 138%. Basketball hoop systems grew by 110%. Basketballs and footballs grew double-digits, and both were driven by junior sizes.

With gyms and fitness centers also closed, consumers are investing in at-home exercise, propelling a 130% rise in fitness equipment sales. All categories — including cardio machines, free weight equipment, home gym weight machines, strength training products, and yoga and Pilates essentials — have seen increases.

A number of segments experienced triple-digit gains in addition to stationary bikes, including weight benches (259%), free weights (181%), and yoga mats (146%).

"The sports industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and high demand for a distinct mix of products during this adjustment to an extended stay-at-home," said Matt Powell, senior industry advisor for NPD's sports practice. "The consumer lifestyle shift as a result of the current circumstances has put the sports business in a unique position compared to most other industries. I anticipate we'll see a renewed emphasis on health and fitness for the long term."

NPD offers data, industry expertise, and analytics to help their clients grow their businesses. More than 2,000 companies worldwide rely on NPD to measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.

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