Good news for the cycle industry with the latest research from Mintel projecting sales of bikes in the UK will reach an all-time high this year, with the market set to grow by 8% on 2011 to reach £700 million in 2012.
The bicycle market had a difficult year in 2011 as sales fell 7% (almost £50 million) from £698m in 2010 to £650m in 2011. However, things are looking good. While volume sales declined 5% between 2006 and 2011, in value terms the market saw strong growth of nearly a fifth (19%) reflecting a shift towards cycling as a leisure and lifestyle choice rather than buying a bicycle purely on price alone.
Over the past five years, the retail price paid for bikes has increased by more than 40%. Mintel forecasts that sales of bikes are set to gain momentum over the next five years.
The market is set to increase 23% reaching £800m by 2016.
Michael Oliver, senior leisure analyst at Mintel, said, “Although the UK market for bicycles contracted slightly in both value and volume terms in 2011, the longer-term prospects for the industry are very positive.
“An unusual combination of circumstances led to oversupply in 2011, which resulted in discounting, impacted on both turnover and profitability. With obesity rates rising among both adults and children, there is clearly a political and financial imperative to encouraging greater physical activity and cycling is a relatively inexpensive way of doing this. Role models in the Olympics mean there is now an almost unrivalled opportunity to try to stimulate cycling participation but it needs some central funding and co-ordination.”