Amid school closures, staff absences and the media over-reaction, the spell of snow that hit the UK over the Christmas period seems to have had a tangible effect on the cycle trade. Jonathon Harker and Mark Sutton ask the questions...


“The frosty weather did interrupt my schedule of store visits for a brief spell. When the roads are as inaccessible as they became, there’s no way we can make some of the pre-scheduled demos organised with potential customers.

“Effectively, this means a few days out from the business and time lost; however, most is easily recouped.”

“In the South West, where Silverfish is based, the snow’s impact was condensed into a few days and the majority of staff made the trip into work. To the relief of many of our customers, the delivery firms we use still performed despite the poor conditions. There were only a few delays the further north a package had to go.

“As it turns out, December was the biggest month’s turnover ever in terms of mainstream sales for Silverfish, meaning by the time the bad weather hit, most were well stocked, or needed to place more ‘winter orientated’ orders. Going forward we anticipate sales to remain strong as we take further 2010 stock.

“Riding wise, plenty of guys in our office were turning out for rides despite the cold snap; in fact some of the best rides we’ve had all year were on the snow-covered trails. It turns a regular route into something entirely new.”

“Sales went through the roof. Sales for our winter and other ranges just went manic and it was our busiest week ever.

“When I spoke to our London accounts, it seems they suffered a dip in sales. I put that down to the fact that many of the workers in the capital commute in and obviously there was disruption for people getting into London, who weren’t at work and able to buy product in lunch breaks, and so on. Sales in the North were huge though, while the market went beserk in Scotland. But even for those that did suffer a dip in sales, I think the subsequent demand would have made sales up. After the snow cleared, a lot of people went on to spend and buy what ever they’d missed out on. For our ranges, I think that people thought that they didn’t want to be caught out again and bought gloves and winter wear so they would be prepared for the next time.

“We had some very minimal courier issues during the bad weather, but all-in-all the snow has given us fantastic sales.”

“This time last year the trade was nervous about what the future held economically. Those fears never turned into a reality and we’ve actually had more orders at this Core Bike show than we had last year. We grew by a huge percentage over the course of 2009, and a number of decent bike companies in the industry did too.

“We got through that economic uncertainty and snow isn’t going to make any real difference to that.”

“The snow had an effect, for sure. There were a couple of dead weeks around the Christmas period when staff couldn’t get in. Since then, though, there have been some sales spikes and that’s hopefully going to even it out and make up for lost trade.

“Pot holes have sprung up as a result of the bad weather too, and that is bound to have a positive effect on the number of repairs and sales of spares for cycle retailers.”

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