The UK had a storming start to the year but the rest of Europe remained
in the doldrums throughout most of the first quarter. By the end of
the second quarter, the bike trade throughout Europe had bounced back,
and then some.
Some of this success can be put down to the weather, said Peiffer,
speaking to BikeBiz.com at Eurobike but not all of by any means and
he's not quite sure where the boom came from. Obviously, any rise in
bike sales impacts favourably on the manufacturer that equips most of
the world's bikes.
Shimano has launched more new products this year than normal but
Peiffer doesn't believe the clamour-for-the-new will have boosted sales
in the first half of year, as the new products weren't available then
(some aren't available until November and beyond - at least one of the
gruppo delays is due to a faulty hub problem, now sorted).
IBDs will go into Q4 and the start of 2004 with the best chance for
raking in profits for quite some time, believes Peiffer.
"There won't be a lot of discounted product this year so the prospect
for the coming months looks very good for IBDs."
The bike boom has also been good for the Eurobike show, it's full to
capacity and spans all nine halls at Messe Friedrichshafen. Just about
every brand of note is at the show, with many saying they wouldn't
attend bumping in at the last moment.
And trade journal BikeEurope has also been bouyed by the bike boom: its
August issue, at 60 A3 pages, is its biggest ever.
Editor-in-chief Jack Oortwijn said the writing was on the wall some
time ago that a boom was about to break:
"A lot of the ads in the August issue were ordered three months ago.
There's a definite expansion in the market out there. In Germany, in
particular, the first half of the year has exceeded all expectations."
According to Bike-eu.com, VDZ, the German IBD association, reports that in July many IBDs recorded a 10 to 20 percent sales increases.