MDS 2020 COVID Impact Report

The Bicycle Association (BA), the national trade association for the UK cycle industry, has released a new “COVID Impact” report on the UK cycling economy, covering sales from January to October 2020. This follows its publication in June of a baseline report on the UK cycling sector, which for the first time provided accurate and granular sales data for calendar years 2018 and 2019.

Both reports take their core data from the BA’s Market Data Service (MDS), a massive UK wide monthly collation of sales data direct from retailers across the country, covering over two thirds of the UK cycling market. The data is aggregated and anonymised by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc, the Association’s data partner. The MDS provides the Association with monthly updates and over 700,000 products categorised for analysis; powerful tools to analyse the UK cycle market and its potential.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Cycling Market in 2020 is an 89-page report providing detailed analysis of cycling industry sales and growth during the pandemic period to date. It integrates the BA’s sales data with wider data sets, from weather patterns to the National Transport Survey, all viewed through the market data lens.

Key findings include:

  • Retailers have seen sales grow by 60% since March 2020
  • E-bike sales more than doubled
  • One pound in every five spent on bicycles during the pandemic was spent on e-bikes.

This 2020 report is one of only a few which the Bicycle Association makes available beyond its membership, and it is released to provide a definitive picture of what is happening in the UK market.

The full COVID Impact Report can be obtained for a fee from the Bicycle Association. Please contact emma@bicycleassociation.org.uk, telephone 0203 857 4411, or visit https://www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/contact/.

Contents list preview

5Introduction
8Executive Summary

– Figure 1: Percentage of the adult population cycling (twice in the past 28 days) in England, 2016/17-2018/19

– Figure 2: Annual growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling market sales, by main product segment (bikes, e-bikes, PACs, services, micro-mobility), 2019

– Figure 3: Estimated value of the UK cycling market by main product segment, 2019

– Figure 4: UK cycling activity, weekday and weekend monthly averages, March-October 2020

– Figure 5: Cycling participation (twice in the past 28 days), volume growth amongst adults in England, mid-March to mid-May 2020 versus mid-March to mid-May 2019

– Figure 6: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, 6th April-26th October 2020

– Figure 7: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market total sales value, versus all UK retail sales (ONS), January-September 2020

– Figure 8: Growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, April-September 2020

– Figure 9: UK bikes average sale price, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 10: E-bike volume and value share of all bike/e-bike sales, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 11: Monthly value growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling service/repairs and care plans, April-September 2020

– Figure 12: UK cycling value market share of sales channels, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 13: Growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, January-September 2020
19Part One – The Cycling Market Pre-COVID-19
19Cycling usage & participation

– Figure 14: Average number of trips, by main travel mode in England, 2009-19

– Figure 15: Average distance cycled in England, 2009-19

– Figure 16: Adult participation (twice in the past 28 days) in selected leisure/sporting activities in England, May 2016/17-May 2019/20

– Figure 17: Percentage of the adult population cycling (twice in the past 28 days) in England, 2016/17-2018/19 (leisure and sport vs travel)

– Figure 18: Percentage of adults who cycle at least once a week in England, 2016/17-2018/19 (by gender, age band, socio-economic group)

– Figure 19: Percentage of adults that cycle at least once a week in England by region, 2018/19 (East of England, East Midlands, Inner London, North East, North West, Outer London, West Midlands, Yorkshire)


24Untapped potential
25Cycling market total volume and value

– Figure 20: Annual volume of UK bike imports, 2011-2019

– Figure 21: Annual volume of UK e-bike imports, 2017-2019

– Figure 22: Estimated value of the UK cycling market by main product segment (bikes, e-bikes, PACs, services, micro-mobility), 2019
27BA Cycling sales data 2019 & Q1 2020:
Overall market 2019

– Figure 23: Annual growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, 2019

– Figure 24: Volume, value and average price of UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, 2019

Bikes 2019

– Figure 25: Bicycle volume and value market share by category (Balance, BMX, Commute/Flatbar/Hybrid, Cyclocross, Folding, Frame, Gravel, Kids, Mountain, Road, Triathlon/TT/Track), 2019

– Figure 26: Bicycle volume, value and average price growth (year-on-year) by category, 2019

– Figure 27: Bicycle volume sales growth (year-on-year), by price band, 2019

E-bikes 2019

– Figure 28: E-bike volume and value market share by category (Commute/Flatbar/Hybrid, Folding, Gravel, Mountain, Road, other), 2019

– Figure 29: E-bike volume, value and average price growth (year-on-year) by category, 2019

January-March 2020

– Figure 30: Growth in UK total cycling market sales (year-on-year), January, February and March 2020

– Figure 31: Annual growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, January-March 2020
33Part Two – The COVID-19 Context
33Timeline of events January 2020-November 2020
– Phase One – Full Lockdown
– Phase Two – Past the Peak
– Phase Three – Summer Relaxation
– Phase Four – Second Wave
37 Weather patterns during the pandemic
– Figure 32: UK mean temperature, average sunshine and rainfall, April-October 2020

– Impact of the weather on cycling
38The wider economic & retail picture

Recession
– Figure 33: UK GDP growth, February-September 2020

Retail sales
– Figure 34: UK retail sales year-on-year value growth, January-September 2020

“Winners and losers”

Online retail trend
– Figure 35: UK volume retail sales comparative value growth, indexed by main retail sector, January 2019-September 2020
– Figure 36: Online spending as a proportion of total UK retail sales value, January 2019-September 2020
43Part Three – Transport Usage during the Pandemic
43Cycling activity versus other transport modes
– Figure 37: UK daily transport usage, 1st March-6th November 2020
– Figure 38: UK cycling activity, weekday and weekend monthly averages, March-October 2020
45Commuting & Working From Home

Commuting trends during the pandemic
– Figure 39: UK working patterns, May-November 2020

WFH is likely to be a permanent trend
47Part Four – Cycling Participation during the Pandemic
47Sport England data

Active Lives Survey
– Figure 40: Cycling participation (twice in the past 28 days), volume growth amongst adults in England, mid-March to mid-May 2020 versus mid-March to mid-May 2019

Weekly activity tracker survey
– Figure 41: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, 6th April-26th October 2020
49 Demographic trends

Gender
– Figure 42: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, by gender, 6th April-26th October 2020

Age
– Figure 43: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, by age, 6th April-26th October 2020

Socio-economic group
– Figure 44: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, by socio-economic group, 6th April-26th October 2020

Region
– Figure 45: Percentage of adults in England who cycled in the past week, by region, 6th April-26th October 2020
53Cycling:
Amount
– Figure 46: How much people cycled during the COVID-19 lockdown compared to before, 6th April-25th May 2020

Purpose
– Figure 47: Purpose of cycling in the past week, 18th May-26th October 2020

Online engagement with cycling
– Figure 48: Google trend* for UK searches on ‘cycling’, ‘bike’ or ‘bicycle’, April 2019-October 2020
56Part Five – Health & Wellbeing Factors
58Part Six – Summary of the Main Drivers of the COVID-19 Cycling Boom

– Figure 49: Key drivers of the COVID-19 cycling boom, 2020
59Part Seven – The Impact of COVID-19 on Cycling Sales
59Overall market impact
– Dramatic growth…
– …But growth could have been even bigger
60Impact by main product category
– Figure 50: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market total sales value, versus all UK retail sales (ONS), January-September 2020

– Figure 51: Growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales, by value, volume, and ASP, and by main product segment (bikes, e-bikes, PACs, services, micro-mobility), April-September 2020

– Figure 52: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales value, by main product segment, March-September 2020

– Figure 53: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales value, by main product segment, March-September 2020 (tabulated)
63Detailed impact on bikes

– Figure 54: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK bike sales, March-September 2020, by volume, value and ASP

– Figure 55: Monthly UK bike volume sales growth (year-on-year), by price band, April-September 2020

– Figure 56: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK bike volume sales, generalists versus specialists, April-September 2020

– Figure 57: UK bike volume sales growth (year-on-year), by price band, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 58: UK bikes average sale price, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 59: UK bike volume sales by type (Balance, BMX, Commute/Flatbar/Hybrid, Cyclocross, Folding, Frame, Gravel, Kids, Mountain, Road, Triathlon/TT/Track), April-September 2020

– Figure 60: UK bike value sales by type, April-September 2020

– Figure 61: UK bike volume market share by type, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 62: UK bike value market share by type, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 63: UK bike sales volume and value growth (year-on-year), by type, April-September 2020
70Detailed impact on e-bikes

– Figure 64: Monthly growth (year-on-year) in UK e-bike sales, March-September 2020, by value, volume and ASP

– Figure 65: Monthly volume growth (year-on-year) in UK e-bike sales, generalists versus specialists, April-September 2020

– Figure 66: UK e-bike volume sales growth (year-on-year), by price band, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 67: UK e-bikes average sale price, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 68: UK e-bike volume sales by type (Commute/Flatbar/Hybrid, Folding, Gravel, Mountain, Road, other), April-September 2020

– Figure 69: UK e-bike value sales by type, April-September 2020

– Figure 70: UK e-bike volume and value market share by type, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 71: UK e-bike sales volume and value growth (year-on-year), by type, April-September 2020

– Figure 72: E-bike volume and value share of all bike/e-bike sales, 2019 and April-September 2020
76Detailed impact on PACs

– Figure 73: Value growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling PACs, by main product category, 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 74: Market share by value of UK cycling PACs, by main product category (Accessories, Componenty, Cycling apparel, Helmets, Nutrition) 2019 and April-September 2020

– Figure 75: Value growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling PACs, by products (Bags & Panniers, Bottles Cages & Hyd-Packs, Brakes and Brake-pads, Chains, Child Seats & Trailers, Computers, GPS & Watches, Gears & Drivetrain, Helmets – Commuter, Helmets – Kids, Helmets – Mountain (Adult), Helmets – Road (Adult), Inner Tubes, Lights & Reflectives, Locks, Other, Pedals, Pumps & Puncture Repair, Shorts & Bibs, Tools & Maintenance, Tyres), April-September 2020
77Detailed impact on services

– Figure 76: Value growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling services, by main product category (Bike Hire, Bikefix, Care Plans, Events, Service/Repair), 2019 and April-September 2020

-Figure 77: Monthly value growth (year-on-year) of UK cycling service/repairs and care plans, April-September 2020
79Impact on sales channels

– Figure 78: UK cycling value sales growth (year-on-year), by sales channel (in store, online click-and-collect, online direct), 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 79: UK cycling value sales growth (year-on-year), by product segment and sales channel, April-September 2020

– Figure 80: UK cycling value market share of sales channels, 2019 and April-September 2020
82Generalists versus specialists

– Figure 81: UK cycling value growth (year-on-year), generalists versus specialists, 2019, January-March 2020 and April-September 2020

– Figure 82: UK cycling value growth (year-on-year), generalists versus specialists, by product segment, April-September 2020
84Regions

– Figure 83: UK cycling value growth (year-on-year), by regional store (Greater London, Midlands, North, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South) and UK-wide online retailers, April-September 2020

– Figure 84: UK cycling value market share, by regional store and UK-wide online retailers, 2019 and April-September 2020
86The overall cycling market in 2020

– Figure 85: Growth (year-on-year) in UK cycling market sales, by main product segment, January-September 2020

– 2020 full-year projections
88Part Eight – Industry Launches & Developments
88Bikes for NHS/key workers
Bike shops opening
89Sales channels/customer service
– Services & repairs
– New to cycling
– Indoor trainers
– E-bikes & e-cargo
91Part Nine – Conclusions and the Future Direction of the UK Cycling Market after COVID-19
91The short term market
The post-COVID market
92Some specific takeaways
94Longer term prospects: crisis and opportunity