The business of biking
Fundamentally, the neighborhood bicycle shop is only a little different than it was when the Wright Brothers were building bikes -- before they got into airplanes. But it might not be that way for long. We found this article to be an interesting one about how competitors in a unique industry respond to change.
The bike industry doesn’t seem like a particularly healthy one in many ways. Since 2000 about 40% of bike shops have closed. Structural forces make it hard for small, innovative manufacturers to make headway, buying a bike isn’t as easy and convenient as it could be, and the sale of used bikes is way up.
Bicycle dealers are now trying to respond, before they go the way of neighborhood bookstores and record stores. They are beginning to offer more mobile services and increased customer education.
Maybe the biggest problem – people aren’t riding as much. In 1995, 56.3 million Americans rode a bike six or more times. In 2015? Just 36 million. If you were in this industry, what could you do to inspire people to get out and ride?