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Bicycle sales still slow, but no longer free-falling

Bicycle sales to the specialty retail market, which plummeted in the second quarter of 2001, rebounded substantially during the third quarter, according to the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. Third-quarter unit sales were down just 2.5 percent from the same period in 2000, a considerable improvement over the second quarter's decline of 12 percent. Sales in terms of dollars were down 2 percent for the third quarter, compared with 8 percent in the previous quarter, according to the BPSA. "Year to date, the industry is down by 228,000 units (10.5 percent), with dollar sales off by

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By VeloNews Interactive

Bicycle sales to the specialty retail market, which plummeted in the second quarter of 2001, rebounded substantially during the third quarter, according to the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association.

Third-quarter unit sales were down just 2.5 percent from the same period in 2000, a considerable improvement over the second quarter’s decline of 12 percent. Sales in terms of dollars were down 2 percent for the third quarter, compared with 8 percent in the previous quarter, according to the BPSA.

“Year to date, the industry is down by 228,000 units (10.5 percent), with dollar sales off by $40 million,” the BPSA announced in a press release distributed by the National Sporting Goods Association. “It appears that the impact of the September terrorist strike had a minor impact in late September sales to dealers.”

Top performers included hybrid sales, up 2.4 percent in dollars but down 6.5 percent in units; mountain, comfort and cruiser bikes, which recovered from a 40,000-unit drop in the second quarter to post an 18,000-unit increase in the third quarter; and tire and tube sales, which rose 11.2 percent.

The big loser in the third quarter: kids’ bikes, down 7.4 percent in units and 9.1 percent in dollars. Still, even that was an improvement over the 19-percent drop in units sold during the second quarter. For the year to date, according to the BPSA, sales of kids’ bikes to specialty retail outlets are down 16 percent in both dollars and units.

Still, there is reason to be optimistic, pending release of the fourth-quarter sales figures. “October and November were good months, so the prognosis is positive at this point,” said Bill Austin of Derby USA, the BPSA’s statistical chairman.

Austin is evaluating the fourth-quarter stats in preparation for the annual BPSA and National Bicycle Dealers Association Joint Industry Education Conference, which begins January 31 in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, see the BPSA web page at www.bpsa.org.