The National Bicycle Dealers' Association has released a study of IBDs in the US showing that NBDA-member stores are larger, more active in their communities, more marketing- and tech-savvy, more readily enlist educational services and support, and generate larger gross revenues than the average US bicycle retailer. But the report also proves that 60 percent of US IBDs aren't motivated by promise of a buck...

IBDs in trade org better than those who refrain

The US Specialty Bicycle Retailer Study "provides an in-depth look at the specialty bicycle retail industry as it evolves to meet the challenges of a changing market, said the NBDA, the US equivalent of the ACT, and publisher of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Aside from the retail profile information, the report has sections on salaries by job description, marketing strategies in use and technology, including use of web sites, inventory control, POS systems, and use of the internet.

The research, commissioned by the NBDA, was conducted by Abacus Custom Research of Emmaus, PA, in December 2004. The project was managed by the Gluskin Townley Group, which also authored the executive summary reports. A random sample of 1000 IBDs was mailed a four-page questionnaire and $1 incentive. The response rate was 40.4 percent.

The report is available for purchase in full or as an executive summary from the NBDA’s website. Non-NBDA members pay $499 for a PDF of the document. A copy mailed to a non-NBDA member outside of the US costs $539.

The full report includes the executive summary, 31 colour charts and graphs, and 132 tables of detailed response information covering 114 questions sorted by 13 tabs. The tabs allow the response to be segmented by whether retailers have a website, NBDA membership, annual gross revenue, a point-of-sale computer system, and whether they carry specific bike lines like Trek or Giant. The executive summary explains the methodology, describes the specialty bicycle retailer, and reveals the primary findings of the research. It also includes the colour charts and graphs, but not the detailed tables.

In the report, IBDs noted similar threats from mass merchants, increasing costs for insurance, mail order, internet marketers, lack of available products and quality employees for hire.

Fred Clements, NBDA’s executive director, said "although it is exciting to see that the research points to NBDA member retailers as more prepared to deal with the ever changing retail environment in comparison to the average US bicycle retailer, it’s most important first that we are able to see what type of problems are shared collectively, so the industry can take steps to address these problems together. This research gives us a detailed picture of the retail environment, allowing suppliers to better understand their retailers, and retailers to embrace ideas for future business improvements."

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