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BikeBiz 2010 Year Review: September to December

Show season started in earnest in September with probably the biggest bike show in the world. A larger Eurobike than ever saw almost every bike brand carry an electric bike model, and dedicated a zeppelin hanger to the growing sector.

41,000 trade visitors from 102 countries made the trip to Friedrichshafen this year, while the opening Demo Day also gained in popularity, attracting 1,732 journalists from 35 countries. In more statistical impressiveness, Eurobike saw a whopping 300 product world premieres, cementing the show’s position as the essential global bike show, to the minds of many. Not even a paltry number of nearby hotels and an acute lack of direct flights to the area seem able to nobble the popularity of the show.

In the words of project manager Stefan Reisinger: “The bicycle industry is showcasing in Friedrichshafen the entire range of products that it offers worldwide. Eurobike has once again impressively highlighted its standing as the global bicycle show.”

Picking up where Eurobike left off, Cycle Show 2010 brought product debuts and launches over to the UK and, for the last time, to Earls Court. While it was Cycle Show’s last stand in London before it headed off to Birmingham’s NEC in 2011, that didn’t put off plenty of trade and consumer attendees – and cycle nut Lord Sugar – from attending. In fact, quite the opposite – consumer ticket sales jumped by 211 per cent ahead of the show’s opening.

October was also the month that the first stand-alone BikeBiz Awards took place, celebrating the achievements of the bike industry over the past 12 months.

Over 200 members of the trade squeezed into a packed Sway Bar in Holborn, London to mix with the movers and shakers of the biz, and to see who had been voted the cream of the cycle crop.

With over 500 stores globally, French retailer Decathlon’s comparative lack of shops on these shores could arguably be seen as slightly baffling. This year, however, the firm did up the number of UK stores, with a 40,000 sq foot outlet in Northern Ireland (creating 60 jobs), a store in Reading and a £15 million shop in Birmingham (pictured above with new store manager Anthony Kirkwood).

The 50,000 sq ft Birmingham shop opened in November and stocks over 170,000 items and serves over 70 different sports – including cycling.

Decathlon also moved into the United States this year after pulling out of the territory in 2006.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. Whether the country is climbing out of recession or not, this December we’ve (hopefully) heard tills ring, seen credit cards wear thin and internet ordered parcels delivered by posties (by van, not bicycles). And while the High Street and online retailers have been busy, and consumers up and down the land have complained about hearing too much from the likes of Slade, Wizard and Sir Cliff, bike manufacturers and distributors will continue to gear up for 2011 and prepare for the jam-packed show season in January and February.

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