With the Tour de France approaching, team GB continue to insipre cyclists all over the UK. With team GB’s triumph in the last few years, more and more of us are getting back on the saddle. In fact, according to British Cycling, we are now one of the most successful cycling nations in the world. However, as Brexit jitters grip the cycling industry and the value of the pound continues to plunge forcing up the cost of imports, for cycling wholesalers and distributors, the next 12 months could be a real uphill struggle. How can businesses manage the supply hurdles that lie ahead in order to keep pace with evolving customer demand?
While the UK is Europe’s second largest market in terms of bicycle sales, British-based distributors are hugely dependant on global suppliers. Given that a staggering 95% of all bikes in the UK are imported from abroad, it seems that the fall in the value of the pound has already started to have an impact on businesses. While imports are anticipated to decrease by as much as 11% in the coming months as bicycle distributors feel the pinch of increasing supply chain costs, supply issues are not the only challenge faced by the industry. Although demand for bikes and accessories remains strong, it seems consumers are shifting towards more premium products as well as new technologies such as electric bicycles.
The question for businesses now is how they can protect their operations from the impact of external factors such as Brexit and currency fluctuations while still exploiting the full value of a buoyant bicycle market in the UK?