With the nation’s meteorological fortunes relatively unpredictable, Britain is naturally a country obsessed with the weather. For the people of the bike trade, the fixation with the forecast could understandably become obsession with sales performance and profits seemingly so inextricably linked to how much rain we’ve had to put up with.
So, how are we doing so far in 2015? According to the Met Office, June saw temperatures near or just below normal overall, but outside of the South East temperatures have been “in general noticeably below average, continuing on from the rather cool May”. Meanwhile, early July has seen something of a heatwave for much of the UK. How has that translated to sales for the bike trade? According to our latest straw poll, the sales picture is typically mixed.
We asked “How are your 2015 sales compared to last year?” The majority of respondents (32 per cent) said their business was significantly down on this time last year. The second largest number of responses said they were slightly up on this time last year (28 per cent).
Taking a broader overview, the stats were as balanced as they possibly could be; 44 per cent responded that sales were up (significantly and slightly) while 44 per cent said sales were down (significantly and slightly) with the remaining 12 per cent saying sales were about the same as they were last year.
So, not much insight to be gleaned from this month’s poll in those more general terms, but there were a few telling comments made by the survey takers. One retailer told us they were seeing fewer people through the door, echoing the words of sales rep John Styles (“Showrooming is the least of your worries”, June 23d, BikeBiz.com). Another shop said the mixed weather had hampered their performance while one detailed: “March 2015 onwards is significantly up year-on-year, particularly in March and April, but that is only compensating for a very poor October 14 to February 15.”
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