Bicycle Business: Trends, threats and opportunities

Trends

Fashion, health consciousness and active lifestyle trends

Statistics have indicated that bicycling is a healthy lifestyle with regard to not only cardiovascular exercise, but also a great mode of stress and tension relief. Many Americans have realized the benefits associated with bicycle industry (National Bicycle Dealers Association 2009 Para.4). It is also a fashion trend that fit and slim people are regarded to as fashion conscious.

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Many people regardless of age or gender therefore see bicycling as a convenient way of achieving fashion statements with regard to their perceived fitness and body size. Subsequently, the bicycle industry has grown as more and more people take this option either as a means of transportation or, for recreation. The retail shop is evidently going to have high sales due to these social trends which do not show signs of diminishing in the next three to five years.

Student market

The fact that this retail shop is located near a university is very convenient, as many students prefer to use bicycles for their transport given that most of them cannot afford cars. Additionally, it is regarded as fashionable to own certain makes of bikes, which is a very effective factor that might see this retail shop make large profits in the course of the next five years.

Opportunities

High fuel prices

Political instability in the Middle East is a vital factor that highly affects the cost of fuel world wide. With the high cost being felt by the consumer in the recent times, consumers have found cycling not only a faster means, but also a cost saving mode of transport (Williamson & Zeng 69).

The bicycle industry therefore must see the opportunity in the high fuel costs which has turned about 5.2 % of the total population to cyclists. It is therefore important that the market finds convenient strategies to win more consumers as they also work effortlessly to satisfy consumer needs.

Bicycle variety

Additionally, the business must endeavor to stock a wide variety of bikes to cater for varied consumer needs. These include comfort, mountain, hybrid, beach cruiser, downhill, commuter and also children bicycles in order to capture the whole market. If every customer’s needs are met, then the profits will inevitably be enormous.

The business can engage in offering free repair services for a specified period of time after purchase. This shall keep customers as they build business trust. The retail shop must therefore have unlimited selection of bicycles as they offer after service to customers. It is also important to note that the retail shop must stock varied brands to suit customer needs.

Clothing

Among its competitors, there is no single one that offers riding clothing. Mostly, customers are referred to other shops. The retail shop therefore can take up the task of in additional to retail sale and service as their ways of generating revenue, selling gloves, shoes and riding wear to enhance service delivery.

Events organizers

The fact that this retail shop is the only shop that organizers riding events gives it an upper hand over other competitors. However, there is great opportunity in organizing events that cater not only for students, but those that are gender and age conscious. This will give consumers an opportunity to view the stock in the retail shop.

It is also at such events that raffles can be organizers where winner are awarded with prizes such as new bicycles, free service to their current bicycles for a specified period of time or free riding gear. The organization of riding events is an opportunity that is bound to raise the profit margins.

Threats

Economy fluctuations – discretionary spending

Being a small retail shop, the business will inevitably be affected by fluctuations of the economy as times become harder and harder for the consumer. Today, the unemployment rate stands at 9.1% which translates to fewer and fewer customers as a result of discretionary spending. Lowering costs of bicycles on the other hand is not a valid business decision considering the fact that this is a retail shop which makes only significant profit margins.

Seasonality

The market is sometimes unpredictable and has seasons. If a new make of car is produced in the market, then there are chances of shift of interest. This is bound to after the bicycle retail shop as sales will definitely go down (Bicycle Retailer Para.1). Challenges associated with seasonality go beyond profits as the retailer has to cater for other business expenditures from other sources.

Competition

The retail shop is at a threat facing competition pressure with regard to price sets as other wholesale merchants are in a position to cut profits and offer large discount considerably. At this point, the retail shop is not in a position to face such competition as it deals in limited stock and very minimal capital is there for expansion. Even though other competitors are retailers, the retail shop is bound to suffer together with them, when the large merchants offer appealing discounts.

Works Cited

Bicycle Retailer. Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. 2011. 14 September 2011. www.bicycleretailer.com

National Bicycle Dealers Association. Industry Overview. 2011. 14 September 2011. www.nbda.com

Williamson, Peter & Zeng, Ming. Value-for-money Strategies for Recessionary Times, 2009 Harvard Business Review, 69

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