Retailers benefit from cycling boom
Retailers are benefiting from a resurgence in the popularity of cycling according to a report by the London School of Economics.
The report said that more than 3.7 million cycles were sold in the UK last year which is a 28% increase on 2009.
More than £1.5 billion was spent on cycles in 2010 and a further £850 million on accessories, resulting in total retail sector sales of £2.47 billion.
New cyclists alone contributed £685 million to the UK economy, with existing regular cyclists representing a total market value of £635 million.
The report published by Sky and British Cycling found that around 20,000 people are employed in the cycle retail sector.
Evans Cycles is the UK’s largest independent cycle specialist with 43 dedicated cycling stores nationally, while Halfords controls over a third of the market in terms of sales, with over 1 million bikes sold annually through 400 stores. Other larger retailers selling cycles including Toys R Us, Sports Direct, JJB Sports and supermarket chains including Asda and Tesco. The remainder of the sector is comprised of around 1,000 smaller retailers and online sellers such as Cycle Surgery.
Dr Alexander Grous, a productivity and innovation specialist in the Centre of Economic Performance at LSE commented: "In a challenging economic period, the outlook for the UK cycling industry is positive, with indications that the sector is making a significant and growing contribution to Britain’s economy, generating an estimated £2.9 billion per annum with strong signs of sustainable growth over the long term."
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