Bicycle sales forecast to top £1bn by 2023

19 June 2020, 00:04

People cycling
People cycling. Picture: PA

Women and the under-45s may be particularly likely to take up the sport, Mintel said.

Bike sales could top £1 billion by 2023, according to predictions.

While 32% of people surveyed in February said they already cycle to some extent, a further 32% said they would consider doing so in future, Mintel found.

Six in 10 (59%) of these potential cyclists are women, and 55% are aged under 45, the survey of 2,000 people found.

Around 2.5 million bicycles were sold in the UK in 2019, at a value of £940 million, Mintel said.

It said that following an initial boost to bike sales as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, this is likely to drop off.

This year, people are expected to spend around £842 million on bikes, Mintel said.

But it forecasts that by 2023, the value of sales will top £1 billion as pent-up consumer demand is released.

John Worthington, senior analyst at Mintel, said: “The fact that at the beginning of the year a third of adults who didn’t currently cycle said they would consider doing so in the future suggests there is huge potential to increase cycle participation rates.

“Once spending recovers from the impact of the recession, the long-term market potential is strong.

“Cycling is uniquely placed to benefit from growing health, wellness and environmental trends – all of which may be boosted by the Covid-19 crisis – and a broader urban mobility revolution which includes e-bikes and e-scooters.”

A little less challenging for tired legs, Mintel estimates around 100,000 e-bikes were sold in the UK in 2019, up from about 73,000 in 2018.

Mr Worthington said: “The e-bike market has been growing rapidly over the past two years and consumer interest is high.

“While interest today is strong, e-bike sales could take longer to recover from the impact of the looming recession than standard bikes as they’re significantly more expensive.”

Roger Geffen, policy director at Cycling UK, said: “The predicted growth of cycle sales bodes well, suggesting Britain could recover from the coronavirus crisis in ways that also help us tackle the climate crisis, the congestion crisis, the pollution crisis and the inactivity-related health crisis that were there all along.

“However it is also notable that sales of electrically-assisted bicycles in the UK are still being held back by high prices.

“Other European governments have supported e-bike sales, boosting their take-up massively, particularly among groups who might otherwise not feel ready to take up cycling. Cycling UK urges ministers here to do likewise, for the benefit of our health and our environment.”

The Government’s Cycling Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “This is yet another encouraging indication that more and more people are choosing to cycle.

“The unprecedented £2 billion we have announced for cycling will get many more people pedalling, and we have a whole host of exciting plans for cycling in the pipeline.”

By Press Association

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