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

Published January 13, 2021
Today: Stuart Hunter of roll: bicycle company in Columbus, Ohio

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.

Stuart Hunter, roll: bicycle company, Columbus, Ohio

The 2020 season has been a roller coaster. Throughout it all we have seen significant growth in both sales and service. However growth has been constrained somewhat by supply. The strength of our multiple-brand partnerships has allowed us to prosper as we see single-line shops faltering.

We believe that demand levels will remain strong through 2021, as consumers continue to look outdoors for recreation and health and wellness. On the supply side, we will be looking to refill our shops, though not to the levels we carried before the 2021 season.

I do believe the industry has to be a little careful here. Many suppliers are ramping up to record levels, and we expect to see some oversupply heading into Q4 2021 This will create price pressure in the showroom and pressure on retailer/supplier relationships as some brands seek to force product out of their warehouses and into the shops.

We have seen all of our suppliers do their absolute level best this year, in circumstances that have been impossible to predict or control. Looking ahead, we believe it is more important than ever that suppliers remain completely transparent in their policies for what will still be a challenging 2021 on the supply side. Any brand that doesn’t will falter as soon as supply returns to normal.

This year has been an interesting experiment in staffing. We have worked hard to create safe spaces for every team member. With strong service business we see a shortage of skilled mechanics in our industry, which we are working hard to overcome.



Stuart Hunter, roll: bicycle company, Columbus, Ohio
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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