Jonathon Harker and Mark Sutton ask the industry how it has fared in the midst of a recession and without the benefit of an Olympic gold haul...
“Overall Madison has had a very strong year. It has certainly been challenging in terms of making the right decisions and adopting the right strategy to successfully guide the business through what many experts believe to be the biggest financial crisis mankind has yet encountered. Difficult and unpopular decisions had to be made for the good of the business and thankfully I can stand by those actions as being the right ones to have taken. Madison is coming through this recession in very good shape and is very upbeat about the remainder of 2009 and 2010. Madison has posted significant sales growth every year for the last four years and 2010 is certainly looking set to continue this very positive trend.
“The tailwind for cycling in the UK – thanks to media coverage, the awesome performance of our professional riders, along with the health and environmental agenda, is set to bolster our industry for some years to come. Every day I count my blessings for working in such a great industry and as a privately owned business, the support and long-term outlook of Madison’s owner is refreshing and appreciated – especially in times such as now.”
DOMINIC LANGAN, MD, MADISON
“We’ve had a very busy summer season with all aspects of the business – workshop, new cycle sales and accessories sales have seen an average of 20 per cent turnover increase in 2009.
“Due to our store’s location, road bikes and hybrid bike sales have been very strong. The shortages with all suppliers during peak season were a mixed blessing. This helped us to maintain full RRPs and to clean up our stock inventory, but conversely we have lost a few sales to other stores when we didn’t have the bike in stock.”
CHRIS COMPTON, COMPTON CYCLES
“The last three months have seen our best ever sales.
“We recorded our best show sales at our recent product launch week and from our perspective, retailers are selling a lot of product without a doubt. At the start of the season we sold a lot of components, presumably for cyclists looking to maintain their bike rather than upgrade with a new model.
“In the past we’ve sadly seen bike retailers go out of business, but this year we’ve not even seen one – it’s amazing that in the industry we’ve not really seen any problem.”
BEN GABY, MARKETING MANAGER, PALIGAP
“From the start of the year, the shop has been flat out with repairs. Sales of parts may have fallen off slightly, probably because the shop floor is stuffed with work – at times getting in the door has been a problem. The workshop has been riding on the crest of a wave and there seemed to have been a constant surge of events pushing cycling.
“Customers purchasing goods online and bringing them to the shop to be fitted is, as ever, on the increase. That suits my business model. Over 30 years in the trade, I've enjoyed this one the most.”
WILLY BAIN, BICYCLEREPAIR.CO.UK