Bicycle sales drop during peak season
January 14 2016 09:38 PM
Bicycles on display at another leading outlet on Salwa Road
Bicycles on display at another leading outlet on Salwa Road

By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

The winter season has failed to meet the expectations of many bicycle stores in Doha, posting a huge drop in sales since September last year.

Speaking to Gulf Times, Skate Shack sales manager Anton Joseph Pillai said they were expecting the sales to surge during this period – known to be a peak season for cycling.

“We sell an average of 250 to 300 units in December every year but this was reduced to about 175 last month,” he said.

The figure translates to around 42% decline in the number of units sold and the past four months had been “very challenging” compared with the output in the same period in 2014, according to Pillai, who cited rising competition and possible economic slowdown as reasons for the drop.

He noted that the demand for different types of units such as racer and mountain bikes, as well as bicycles for children, had decreased.

Despite many competitions and races taking place in Qatar during winter every year, the sales manager said few participants have considered buying new bicycles.

He lamented that regular customers such as companies and organisations have stopped their orders recently.

“They usually order in bulk in the past few years but last year was different, it may be part of their austerity measures,” Pillai added.

Several stores in malls also posted a significant drop in bicycle sales during the same period, especially in December. However, he expressed optimism that the Qatar National Sport Day celebration next month will help boost their sales.

While the World Cycling Championship in Qatar set this October will help promote the sport, Pillai said the event may slightly improve their sales.

“Most cyclists from different parts of the world are taking their own bikes with them,” he added.

A supervisor of another leading sports shop in Qatar told Gulf Times their bicycle sales fell by 30% last month. “We did not expect such a drop in sales, especially this winter,” he said.

He stressed that the opening of some bicycle stores in Doha had further “sliced their share of the pie.” A number of major sports shops are also expected to open in the country this year, according to the source.

The good thing, he said, is that custumers will have more choices and prices of bicycles may slightly go down due to rising competition.

But he expressed apprehension that the trend will continue until the end of the third quarter this year. Cyclists in Qatar normally limit their rides during summer.

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