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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By Yokota Fritz

After IKEA buyers and managers were seen at recent international bicycle shows, Bike Europe reports that the Dutch furniture retailer IKEA sells bicycles in the Netherlands now. Read more at Bike Europe.

Elsewhere in Europe... French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to cut the European sales tax (VAT) on fuel to reduce fuel prices. Fishermen have blocked French ports for the last week to protest high fuel prices as prices for diesel for fishing boats has doubled over the past six months. More at the BBC.

In Canada, Dorel Industries had their annual stockholders meeting yesterday. They expect bikes to be big business for them as gasoline makes travel more expensive. In spite of the slowing economy, sales were up 54.9 per cent in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. Overall, Dorel revenues rose 22 per cent to $556 million, and earnings went up 25.7 per cent to $35.1 million, or $1.05 a share, from the first quarter in 2007. Shareholders were told that Dorel plans to aggressively develop its bicycle business.

"The purchase of Cannondale and SUGOi immediately establishes huge IBD positioning for Dorel and will help us move toward a dominant worldwide position in the bicycle industry," Dorel CEO Martin Schwartz told stockholders. "Our intention is to seek further acquisitions in similar high quality, performance bicycle companies and create new innovative products."

Dorel sells bicycles under the Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, and Cannondale brands through mass merchant and independent bike retail stores.

My friend Tim Grahl has his 15 minutes of fame through a mention in this article at Forbes Magazine. Tim made Forbe's list of richest bike riders in the world. Or something like that.


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Just a note to point out that IKEA is not a "Dutch furniture retailer" as such, any more than it is a "Canadian", "Estonian", "U.S.", "Kuwaiti" or "Singaporean" furniture retailer. Yes, it does have national branches in the Netherlands and all these other countries plus many, many more, but as the source article mentions, it is a Swedish company (hence all the Swedish and occasionally Danish and Norwegian names that identify its products). It was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in Elmtaryd township, Agunnaryd county (whence the initials IKEA) in Sweden and still has its headquarters there.

Perhaps you should say that the bikes are being sold by the Dutch division of the Swedish household items retailer...
Thanks Anon -- I'm aware that IKEA started in Sweden, but it's currently headquartered in the Netherlands, apparently because you can run a "non-profit" group there and not publish your books. IKEA is fully owned by a non-profit foundation.

I frequently get things wrong on this blog, but I did happen to look this one up before writing it.
Fritz -

On the topic of IKEA and bikes, should you ever end up at the IKEA in East Palo Alto, you can check out a dark corner of the first level of the parking garage, where IKEA has put a bike rack and proudly painted a sign above said bike rack that has a picture of a bike and says "BIKE RACK"

Said bike rack is mounted horizontally along the wall, roughly 6 inches from the wall, rendering it useless for locking up more than one bike, placed along the series of slots instead of wheel through the slots.
Hi Murph -- Been there! I know exactly what you mean.
Interesting. Can't tell much from the picture in that Bike Europe article though. Do you know where to find a better image?
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