Success on wheels:

Making it as an independent UK bicycle retailer

Success on wheels: Making it as an independent UK bicycle retailer

The bicycle retail business in the UK is growing according to the Office of National Statistics. About four million bikes are sold each year and the market for bicycle accessories is now valued at £1.25 billion. Government initiatives, such as the Cycle to Work Scheme, and cycle-friendly urban regeneration have helped create a growing demand for bikes amongst the general public. The 2014 Tour de Force in Yorkshire has been credited with a new appreciation for twowheel transport that hasn’t waned and British Cycling Club, which had 15,000 members in 2005, now has 140,000.

While customer demand is there, the daily challenges of running an Independent Bicycle Dealer (IBD) aren’t for the faint-hearted. Something as hard to predict as bad weather can have a huge impact on sales and retail rents in some areas have skyrocketed. There are more than 2,500 specialist cycle shops in the UK so competition is very real and the online options for new or second hand bikes are enormous. However, the beauty of the IBD market is in the detail. Specialist retailers represent 55% of the total UK bike market and the variety of bikes, bike parts and service requirements mean that the complexity of the business requires expertise that can’t be found at a super-store.

How can you find success as an independent UK bicycle retailer? The competition may be tough, but we have the answers on how to get ahead, get organized and find success on two wheels…