Global cycling boom “cooling down”, says Shimano

Shimano has released its financial results for the first quarter of FY2022, with net sales from its bicycle segment increasing 13.9% from the same period of the previous year.

The global cycling boom showed signs of cooling down, said the company, with market inventories of entry-class and middle-class bicycles approaching “appropriate levels”. Demand centring around high-end class bicycles remained high.

Company-wide, net sales increased 13.9% from the same period of the previous year to 144,047 million yen, and operating income increased 16.8% to 38,033 million yen.

In the European market, Shimano said demand for bicycles and bicycle-related products “remained firm” as governments continued their policies to promote bicycles in response to growing environmental awareness. Demand for e-bikes “remained strong”, added the company, and market inventories of entry-level and middle-class bicycles “approached appropriate levels”. 

Demand for bicycles also “remained firm” in the North American market, and market inventories, centring around entry-class and middle-class bicycles, “recovered to appropriate levels”. In the Asian and South and Central American markets, the cycling boom cooled off, said Shimano, and market inventories of entry-class bicycles “remained at a slightly higher level”.

In the Japanese market, while market inventories of road bikes “remained at a low level” due to steady demand for sport bikes, retail sales of community bicycles were “sluggish”, resulting in market inventories “remaining at a higher level”.

“Under these market conditions, order-taking was brisk for a wide range of products, including the high-end models for road bikes, Dura-Ace and Ultegra, and sport e-bike components, Shimano Steps series,” said the company. “As a result, net sales from this segment increased 13.9% from the same period of the previous year to 118,176 million yen, and operating income increased 17.0% to 32,455 million yen.”

Read more: Raleigh takes over UK distribution of Babboe cargo bikes

Earlier this year, Shimano announced plans to outsource its European warehouse activities, saying that due to enormous growth within the company, the distribution centre in the Netherlands no longer suits demand.

Shimano said that the transition to the new outsourced warehouse model will take place in late 2023 at the earliest. The company said it is considering moving the distribution operation to Poland, leaving 45 workers at the hub in Nunspeet, the Netherlands, at risk of redundancy.

Rebecca Morley

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