The French Bicycle Market grew by one percent, totaling 897 million Euros (1,323 million dollars) in 2008, although by volume the market retracted. The number of bikes sold in 2008 was 3,417,100 - a decrease of 3.5% over 2007.
There are four primary modes of distribution within the Bicycle market in France: sporting goods stores, bike manufacturers’ dealership networks, specialized independents and hypermarkets.
In terms of units sold, roughly one in two bicycles is sold in sporting goods stores (this is increasing), 1 in 4 is sold by independent specialists, and 1 in 4 is sold by hypermarkets. Independent specialists marketed 24.5% of the total volume, representing a gain of 1% in the market. Hypermarkets represented 25% of sales volume, a decline of 1.5%.
In terms of turnover, independent specialists remain the leaders. They represent more than half of total sales with 53.5%. Bike manufacturers’ dealers gained 5% of the market, and the sales of other independents remained stable. Sporting goods stores were in second place with 37.5% of sales, marking a gain of 2%. Hypermarkets had 9% of sales, marking a reduction of 8%.
Distribution by bicycle category is as follows:
• The All Terrain Bike is marketed 53% by sporting goods stores, 24% by specialists and 23% by hypermarkets.
• The All Purpose Bike is marketed 58% by sporting goods stores, 35% by the specialists and 7% by hypermarkets.
• Racing Bikes remain the domain of specialists, with 77% of volume; sporting goods stores represent 22% of sales in this family and hypermarkets are at 1%.
• City Bikes + EABs are sold 40% by sporting goods stores, 32% by specialists and 28% by hypermarkets. The increase in Electrically Assisted Bike sales continues; they reached 3,900 units in 2005, 6,000 units in 2006, 9,700 units in 2007 and 15,700 units in 2008. Many companies subsidize the purchase of these bikes by their employees, as an environmental/health initiative.
• The All Terrain Bike-child 20” and 24” are marketed 53% by sporting goods stores, 29% by hypermarkets, and 18% by specialists.
• Children’s Bikes are marketed primarily by sporting goods stores (55%) and by hypermarkets (38%).
• BMX and Cyclo-Cross Bicycles are sold pretty equally throughout the network: 38% by sporting goods stores, 36% by specialists and 26% by hypermarkets.
• Young Children’s Bikes sit in a dominant position in hypermarkets with 57% of volume. Sales in sporting goods stores represent 34% of global volume, and specialists occupy 9% of the market.
Components and Accessories
The global cycle market + peripherals earned 1.4 billion Euros (2.1 billion dollars) in 2008 with 50% by specialists, 39% by sporting goods stores, and 11% in hypermarkets.
There are 4 families of peripheral products:
• Frames and Forks
• Bike Components (spare parts): wheels, tires, gears, brakes, handlebar extensions, seats.
• Accessories (outside of bike components): pumps, bags, bottles, locks, bike racks.
• Personal Equipment: clothes, gloves, leggings, shoes, helmets, other protective gear, hygiene, diet.
The components and accessories market such as wheels, pedals, brakes, locks, pumps, helmets, lights, etc. represents 37% of global sales in the bicycle sector. In 2008, sales of peripheral products reached more than 535 million Euros (789 million dollars) marking a 2% increase over 2007.
Independent specialists and sporting goods stores mainly shared this market with:
• 45% of market share for specialists
• 41% of market share for sporting good stores
• 14% of market share for hypermarkets Main suppliers of bike equipment and accessories in France are: Carnac Sport, Corima, Cyclo Protect, Cyfac, Efforts, Framy’s, Hilltecks, Max-Wheel, Noret, Poli, Selle Proust, Specialistes T.A., Velox.
Electrically Assisted Bicycles
The EAB market rose in 2008 with more than 15,000 EAB sold versus 9,700 in 2007. Still far behind the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, this new-concept product in France is being adapted for more diverse offerings. EAB represented sales of more than 14 million Euros with an average price of 950 Euros. Sales of the EAB were made 76% by independent specialists, 19% by sporting goods stores, and 5% by hypermarkets. Main manufacturers of electrical bikes are: Cycleurope Industries Sas (French), Velys (French), ACB Cyclo2 (French), EasyBike (French), Koga (The Netherlands), Cambridge Cycle Co. (UK), f2 Motorcycle Ltd (UK), Bestar (China), Luyuan (China), Electric Bicycle Co (Australia).
By Stéphanie Pencolé