Bicycle inventories held by USA wholesalers as at September 2020 are less than a quarter of their usual levels, according to charts published in the November edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
Whereas wholesalers were holding on average well over US$300 million (A$423 million) at wholesale value in stock from October 2019 to March 2020, stock levels then plunged by half in two months to May, by then fell further every month since then to be sitting at under US$75 million (A$105 million) in September.
In a further clear sign that wholesalers have been unable to keep up with demand the number of bicycles being imported each month this year, which had been running below 2019 numbers until May, has surged in June July and August with each month substantially higher than the corresponding month in 2019. In June over 1.7 million bicycles were imported compared to under 1.2 million in 2019. In July just under 2 million compared to 1.4 million and in August just under 1.8 million compared to 1.4 million.
The drop from July to August is most likely a sign of lack of supply from Asian factories rather than any lack of demand. Given that their inventories were continuing to fall every month, wholesalers would have surely imported more bikes in August if supply from factories had been available.
Meanwhile at the IBD (Independent Bicycle Dealer Level) sales of bicycles for the 12 months to May 2020 were up 49% in dollar terms compared to 8% growth in accessories, 10% in parts, 13% in helmets, footwear and gloves and an 11% decline in cycling apparel.