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U.S. dealer count declines, while average shop revenue climbs, study finds

Published June 28, 2017

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (BRAIN) — The number of U.S. independent bicycle retailers declined 2.6 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to a new report from the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

However, as the number of store fronts continues to decline, average store gross revenue is on the uptick, the NBDA's 2017 Specialty Bicycle Retail Study shows. Revenue was up 17 percent, from $916,000 to $1,068,000, according to the study.

The study estimates there were 3,700 IBDs in the U.S. at the end of last year, down about 90 stores from 12 months earlier, and down about 550 stores from 2010. The study used the NBDA definition of an IBD as a business with a storefront that derives at least half its business from bike-related sales to consumers.

The new report also found more shops focusing on service and maintenance, and growth in the number of stores focusing on urban, used, and electric bikes. However, 83 percent of respondents still said they focus on being a family bike store.

The study was conducted by the Gluskin Townley Group for the NBDA in the first quarter this year. A random sample of approximately 1,500 specialty bicycle retailers were invited to participate, and the study is based on 332 usable surveys. The 250-page PDF report is available from the NBDA for $429 for non-members or $149 for members.

"We are happy to be bringing this report at this time of disruption in the retail channel of the bicycle industry," said Todd Grant, the president of the NBDA. "With a larger response rate than previous reports, and new questions that probe into areas like employee compensation, this report is one of many tools that the industry as a whole should be reviewing as decisions are being made that impact the independent dealer network."

The study delves into store location and size, product category mix, brands carried, marketing, technology and challenges in business. 

Business confidence questions cover such areas as supplier relations, protected market areas, mass merchants, mail order, employee issues (including wages), and competition from the internet and mail order.

To download a free copy of the table of contents or purchase they study, visit:

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