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

Published January 11, 2021
Tomias Hinchcliff of Genesis Bicycles in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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.

Tomias Hinchcliff, Genesis Bicycles, Easton, Pa.

Sales have of course been climbing this year but that growth is severely limited by lack of inventory. We made a decision back in May to sell most of our bikes under $1,000 only at a package price with included accessories. That decision has made a phenomenal difference in our profits.

On the flip side, freight costs, which have been nil for us in the past, are going through the roof. This is not going to be sustainable without finding a way to pass these costs along in the form of higher prices or destination fees.

I’m cautiously optimistic that demand will be strong in 2021 but there are a lot of variables. The pandemic is only getting worse and I hope that bike shops will maintain their “essential” status if there is another wave of shutdowns.

One big concern is that vendors are pulling back on terms and that is going to be disruptive to cash flow for many dealers who have used suppliers as their “bank” to get through the slow season.

I did add some bike suppliers this year in order to have product to sell. 2020 jolted me out of my “all eggs in one basket” comfort zone in a big way. We have more bikes on backorder than I can ever remember. There is no other path to having inventory.


Tomias Hinchcliff, Genesis Bicycles, Easton, Pa.
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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