Verdict Research’s James Flower told BikeBiz that Tesco’s move on the bike sector was not out of character for the chain.
He said: “I think the venture is typical of the grocer. It is flexible and can move in and out of any fast growing sector with ease. For example, a few years ago large displays of CDs were in every Tesco store, and now this sector’s growth has slowed, Tesco has visibly reduced the amount of space given to this category.
“In terms of bikes, it has seen Halfords doing well, the success of the Olympic cycling team, and the general health and fitness trends and has moved into it. I’m not sure it will drive significant footfall – really only food drives footfall to most Tesco stores – but I’m sure the venture will yield profits for it.
“I think it is significant, but I can’t see it being developed much more in terms of depth and specialism. It could, however, certainly be rolled out into more stores where space allows. I think the offer will certainly stick to children’s and family leisure bikes sourced from the Far East. For example I can’t see, even in a number of years’ time, the latest offerings from Bianchi and Colnago being offered...”
Flower did surmise, however, that other supermarkets could follow Tesco. “I believe they might, where they have space. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s already offer small bike and accessory ranges in store as well as larger ranges online.”
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