The ACT is floating the idea of a nationally-promoted, week-long, members-only ‘mid-season sale’. This would start on 14th June, the beginning of Bike Week.

ACT proposes coordinated sale programme

Mark Walmsley of Consult 2000, the ACT’s retail consultant and ex-MD of Madison, believes a week-long promotion is the minimum required and a three-week initiative would have greater impact. He suggests a sale to begin 14th June and run until 3rd July.

“The UK high street is driven by sale events,” said Walmsley.

“Focusing our efforts into an ‘industry week’ will increase the volume of our message to the consumer, promoting cycling and the role of the specialist cycle retailer.

"For suppliers and retailers who have no overstocks, sale promotions need not mean discounts, it could simply mean a focal point, new POS, introductory sell-in trade offers. The aim is to make the shop floor come alive for a focused period. IBDs would benefit from the increased footfall generated by shared consumer promotion and awareness.

"The red ticket items add interest, but more people through the door means greater sales of the items which always sell, with similar growth in profits."

Walmsley is well aware that many will think it odd to have a sale initiative in the summer, the bike trade’s peak selling season.

“Yes, June is peak selling season for IBDs but peak season means high footfall and hence high return. A fundamental of retail is that it is much easier to build the peaks in trading trends than it is to raise the troughs."

Walmsley wants the sale programme to be seen as an investment in promotion:

“This proposal is for a commercial investment in Bike Week, via a retail promotion that will build revenue, individual recognition and future income.

“It’s certainly win-win for IBDs and suppliers. Retailers benefit from a kick-start to peak season, without material margin dilution, extensive advertising costs or business disruption. Suppliers benefit from having a pre-planned window for product clearance, with a receptive audience, reducing the often extensive and painfully prolonged costs of clearance activity.”

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