APRIL – Eyes turned to the East in April, and the news from
the Tapei trade show was that the trade was talking about price hikes, not nice bikes. Reports expected bicycles would have to become more expensive due to China consuming more raw materials and the strengthening of the Chinese RMB.
JJB revealed plans to shut 72 stores after posting an operating profit decline of 28 per cent year-on-year. Also in April, Trek filed suit against Greg Lemond following Lemond’s suing of the firm. The month saw massive investment for Evans from Active too.
April brought the announcement of the first ever BikeBiz awards – a long overdue celebratory date for the trade. In fact BikeBiz was even more busy than usual in April, also launching the mobile site so that the trade could keep up to date with the latest news on-the-go via their mobile phones.
MAY – British manufacturing received a shot in the arm in May with news that Brompton had pumped £1 million into its Brentford HQ. The firm also revealed that year-on-year turnover had leapt 27 per cent.
In contrast the BRC revealed that the High Street was taking a battering with the worst performance in three years. Sportsdirect.com got chastised by the OFT for its ‘closing down’ sales and a team of scientists managed to kick up a storm by making the hugely controversial link between cancer and carbon nanotubes – common components found in
sports equipment, including bicycles.
Meanwhile BikeBiz’s own Carlton Reid won an award for his blog, Cycling England went public with a plea to get kids back on bikes, Bohle moved to a new hi-tech headquarters and
manufacturer Saracen bolstered its HQ staff.
JUNE – Gordon Brown voiced his backing of bikes, saying “the place of cycling in our society is set to grow, and I’m committed to doing everything possible to encourage that.” Meanwhile, the UK trade was urged not to panic at increasing lead times for Shimano product. The firm reacted to those delays by significantly ramping up production.
JJB shareholders were kept happy by buyout rumours that sparked a boost for its share price. Sales figures revealed a rise in city cycling, Halfords appointed a new CEO –former WalMart exec David Wild – Europe got its own handheld bicycle show and the disposable fifteen quid bike, made of cardboard, was revealed.
June also saw a higher profile for worlds of biking and ecological awareness with a combined event at the Camden Green Fair and Bikefest.
Click here for the first part of the 2008 review, covering January to March.