In a year where cycle sales have not reached the heights of 2014 - according to anecdotal evidence - the way shops approach Christmas may be more important than ever.
Not only is the period chance to stock up on stocking filler-type gift ideas but there’s also a number of ways bike shops can gear up for the festive season, which led us to the topic for this month’s straw poll.
We asked bike shops what they did for the Christmas season.
For the respondents of our poll, Christmas is judged to be worth some extra effort, with over half bringing in stocking filler product options for customers. Decorating the store and windows was a no-brainer for over 50 per cent of the poll-takers too. Bringing in extra staff was not so popular, however, with just 11 per cent choosing to take on extra heads to cope with added demand.
Christmas savings clubs continue to be popular at cycle retail, with just under half of the respondents saying they offer the service to their customers. And while it may be a strain on precious square footage, holding bike stock right up until Christmas Eve is an incredibly popular service that most retailers offer for their customers.
Some of our readers shared how they will be approaching the period, with one telling us they were running a 12 days of Christmas competition on Facebook, offering up prizes to customers to generate publicity and interest.
Another retailer revealed they would be participating in a ‘shop local’ competition organised by the council. The community-minded store also said they’d be participating in Small Business Saturday (December 5th), attending local events and helping local fundraising in the run up to Christmas.
However retailers seem less likely to participate in Black Friday. The US phenomenon, centring on the Friday following Thanksgiving and unofficially marking the start of the Christmas shopping season, has been picking up more media coverage and UK retail participation in recent years, but it appears that UK IBDs have not been swept up in the phenomenon – judging by our poll at least. Just over a quarter of respondents said they’d run sales and special offers on Black Friday, while over half said they wouldn’t with just nine per cent undecided. Perhaps they’ll be focusing on the aforementioned Small Business Saturday instead?
Have you got anything to add? Please send in your comments to BikeBiz@nbmedia.com or in the comment box below.