Is there an upside to high gas prices? If you're a bicycle retailer, there can be—particularly in the service department. Bikes Belong has just completed a survey of more than 150 bicycle retailers from nearly 40 states to see if their summer 2008 sales reflect an increase in the use of bicycles for transportation.
“I am located directly across the street from a large and busy Quick Trip with more than 12 gas pumps. At least one or two new customers per day tell me they first saw us [while] pumping gas and decided to stop in and see about buying or fixing up a bike to use instead of the car.” -- Comment from Bikes Belong Survey.
The majority of retailers who responded said their sales of transportation-related bicycles, accessories, and service have increased in 2008 compared to 2007:
73% said they are selling more bikes.
84% said they are selling more accessories.
88% said they are selling more service.
Is this increase in sales because of high gas prices? Most retailers who we surveyed think so:
95% of shops said customers cited high gas prices as a reason for their transportation-related purchases.
80% of retailers said gas prices were helping them sell more bikes for transportation.
86% thought accessory sales were getting a boost.
89% said they were selling more service because of high gas prices.
Many new customers are dusting off old bikes and bringing them in for repair. There appears to be a surge of interest in riding bicycles for short trips, errands, and commuting.
These survey results paint a clear picture of bicycling as a simple, affordable transportation solution and reinforces the need to create safe, appealing places to ride. Now is a prime time to encourage people to use bikes for transportation. It's good for the wallet, health, the environment—and it's fun.
View the survey results, which includes interesting comments from bike shops, at Bikes Belong.
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