A rise in Christmas activity for IBDs

2020 was a challenging year for the retail sector as a whole, but for bike retailers in particular it meant a rise in demand never seen before, leading to surging sales and stock shortages.

As part of our involvement with the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), the ACT and a number of other trade organisations within the retail sector coordinate feedback amongst our members to influence Government policy.

The most recent survey determined how the cycling industry fared throughout Christmas 2020 in comparison to Christmas 2019. The findings show an increase in both new and returning customers in December 2020 in comparison to 2019. The data was confidentially and anonymously shared with members of the IRC and may be used for future Government lobbying activity.

Retail finance plays a key role as sales continue to surge in the cycling industry
A recent survey undertaken by the Association of Cycle Traders amongst IBDs shows an increase in both new and returning customers in December 2020 in comparison to 2019. The survey was part of an IRC initiative whereby retail feedback is collected by a number of trade organisations for Government lobbying to the benefit of members.

The year 2020 was a challenging year for the retail sector as a whole, but for bike retailers in particular it meant a rise in demand never seen before, leading to booming sales and stock shortages.

Seasonal cycling trends were thrown into disarray as the COVID-19 disruption impacted consumer buying habits. Most unusually, figures show that November was a stronger sales month than December for the IBD.

Credit card volumes in the cycle sector were reportedly 19% higher in November than December, helped by a 10% increase in the average transaction value, a 25% reverse on the 2019 trend. Retail finance sales remained buoyant throughout the period, reflecting an ever-increasing consumer trend to spread the cost of larger value purchases.

Why retail finance continues to be on the up
November’s 2020 vs 2019 retail finance sales showed the highest growth since May 2020, when the UK was in the very midst of the cycling boom.

These positive trends show no signs of abating, as preliminary January figures suggest we will see an increase in retail finance sales of 47% between January 2020 and January 2021.

Online finance sales also inevitably saw a bigger increase than in-store due to trading limitations arising from the pandemic, leading to shops closing or reducing their product and service offerings.

UK retail as a whole recognises how the pandemic has accelerated online trading for the longer term; finance offered through a shop’s website has become the expected norm among consumers. The increased popularity of bicycles in the last year combined with ongoing stock issues has driven finance to become yet more of a necessity as entry-level bicycle models have all sold out, leading retailers to upsell to better quality models with higher price points.

Here, retail finance proves to be invaluable in allowing consumers to purchase at price points that might otherwise have lost the sale. Now is the time to take advantage of the growing opportunity that retail finance presents and offer your customers the chance to spread the cost in-store and online. Find out how you can begin offering Ride it away retail finance via the ACT website.

In other news...

Product partner: Hiplok turns ten

Hiplok was started by cyclists and fellow product designers, John Abrahams and Ben Smith, who had a desire to solve the problems associated with carrying a secure lock...