Bicycle Sales in Australia.
In 2004 Bicycle Industries Australia Ltd commissioned a pilot study to gather statistics on the sale of bicycles at a wholesale level in Australia. A major international data collection company was contracted to collect figures from a crosssection of wholesalers.
The companies who took part in the study represented most but not all of the major brands sold by independent bicycle dealers in Australia.
Data was collected on the destination of sales by state, the recommended retail price of the bikes(RRP) and the type of bike. Data was also collected on other matters such as stock levels but this remains confidential. The total number of bikes imported into Australia each year is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is based on figures provided by Australian Customs.
The ABS also provides statistics on the population of Australia. By marrying information from these sources a detailed picture of the Australian bicycle market can be derived.
The study commissioned by BIA did not include the small wholesalers who specialize in very high quality, high price bicycles. Although the numbers of bikes sold in this category are small their high value makes a significant difference to the market picture for the independent dealers. The value of these bikes is estimated to be $70,000,000 per annum.
Data was not collected on the sales of parts and accessories. From previous surveys of bicycle retailers the value of these and the value of labour sales in bicycle repairs is known to be around 40% - 50% of total retail turnover in bike shops. In mass merchant stores the sales of parts and accessories is much less significant.
By combining these estimates and the figures from the BIA study the size of the Australian bicycle market is estimated to be one billion dollars per year at retail level.
Bikes are for adults
For every four bikes sold to children or youths in Australia there are seven bikes sold to adults. The public perception that all kids and just a few adults ride bikes is clearly wrong. The Australian market is dominated by sales to adults both in numbers of bikes and in value. The average BMX bike sold in 2004/200 had a recommended retail price of just $252 and smaller juvenile bikes even less. By comparison the average road bike sold for over $2,200.
State by State Differences
There are two especially notable state statistics
1. In NSW the ratio of adults' bike sales to kids' bike sales is 1.42 to 1. In Victoria it is 2.01. Thirty percent more adult bikes are sold in Victoria than NSW. This is a reflection of the investment in cycling infrastrucutre and the level of encouragement for cycling which has been maintained in Victoria for over twenty years. It conversely reflects the lack of such investment and encouragement in NSW.
2. Western Australia has 10% of the population but over 14% of the market, again reflecting recent investment and encouragement by the WA government.
The Historic Trend
Bicycle sales in Australia averaged 795,000 per year for the four years 1998 - 2001. In the four years since they have averaged 1,133,000 per year and been over one million in each of those four years. By comparison car sales have never reached one million in a year. From the ABS import figures for bikes it can be shown that the market share for adult bikes has grown from around half of the market in 1998 to about two thirds in 2005.
Source: Bicycle Industries Australia Ltd.
Bicycle Sales in Australia 2006