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Retailers' crystal ball: We ask IBDs their projections for 2021

Published December 28, 2020
Today: Rich Sherman of Now Bikes in St. Paul, Minn.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — As this unforgettable year comes to end, retailers are eager for a little off-season rest, but anxious about the prospects for 2021. Will they have enough supply? Enough workers? Will a soft economy or COVID-19 lockdowns curb demand, or has everyone who ever wanted a bike already got one? 

For a feature in our December magazine, we touched base with 16 retailers to get their take on the 2020 season and their predictions for 2021. We'll be sharing snapshots from those interviews online over the next two weeks.

Rich Sherman, Now Bikes, St. Paul, Minn.

It was a crazy year. At first, we wondered how many months we could be closed and survive? Then bike shops were declared essential and all the sudden it was bananas. We’re up at least 20% for 2020. We put nothing on sale and maintained our margins.

We anticipate 2021 to be another great season. It depends on how the pandemic plays out. The supply chain’s a hot mess. Shimano controls the marketplace. We have 15 brands and they’re either sold out or mostly sold out for the entire 2021 season. We’re having to front-load the whole year.

We’ve diversified our product mix to help us through the winter. Fat bikes, our winter training studio with huge indoor trainer classes have kept the revenue and the customer count strong. We need the winter to catch up and get ahead on assemblies.

Lackluster fill rates from distributors are really nobody’s fault. And our industry is relationship-driven. We’ll remember who was with us and that will for sure affect our future purchasing decisions.

We’re adding staff to keep from burning out our current staff. We’ve all been on the rivet since February. We’ve talked about closing additional days to give the staff some relief.


Rich Sherman, Now Bikes, St. Paul, Minn.
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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