Despite the large and increasing share of business that international mail order companies are taking, the bike shops around Australia that we phoned this month were all very upbeat. In fact it was the first month since we restarted Bicycling Trade last July that every shop we called was positive about business.
This month, our follow up question was about consumer finance for bicycle purchases. We asked every shop if they offered consumer finance at all, and what they thought about the schemes that are on the market.
Their responses covered the full spectrum, from shops that are offering it and loving it, to one describing finance companies as ‘pillaging’, which is certainly both an emotive description and one that had me reaching for my dictionary!
Welcome to our monthly informal survey of bike shops scattered across Australia where we start by simply asking, ‘How’s business?’
During this summer, many of the headlines were about heatwaves, bushfires and floods. So for How’s Business this month, some of the stores we phoned were within effected areas and we asked them what effect these events had upon their shops.
For the other shops we asked what effect that poor cycling weather in general, be it extreme heat or cold, has upon their day to day business.
Welcome to our popular monthly survey of how business has been going lately in bike shops across Australia.
As always, we asked a supplementary question on a relevant topic. With the popular website Bike Exchange recently receiving national publicity for winning the Telstra Business Awards, we thought we’d ask retailers for their opinion about Bike Exchange and if they thought it was a positive or negative for bicycle retailers.
Every month we interview the owner or manager from a selection of bike shops across Australia. We never have more than one bike shop per State or Territory and always aim to include a diverse mix of shops from city and country, large and small, high end and family.
Each month in How’s Business, we’ll ask a selection of bike shop owners and managers from across Australia ‘How’s business?’
We also ask a follow up question, based upon a theme for the month. This month we thought we’d see how many bike brands each dealer carried and if they were stocking more or fewer different bike brands than in previous years.