Virus changes sales cycle

Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Melo Velo bike store manager Brad Linfield has seen a huge increase in bike sales since the start of the pandemic.
Camera IconMelo Velo bike store manager Brad Linfield has seen a huge increase in bike sales since the start of the pandemic. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

With gyms and fitness centres forced to close their doors in March, gym-junkies hopped on their bikes and turned to cycling as a form of exercise.

But many South West bike retailers are struggling to keep up with the boom in sales and are having to warn customers of a two-month delay on new stock.

Melo Velo store manager Brad Linfield said sales at the Bunbury-based bike shop were usually down this time of year, but restrictions due to COVID-19 had changed that.

“We tend to see a dip in sales around May through to July, but at the moment it is a completely different trend,” he said.

“Funnily enough, one of the first things we sold out of was seats, people had gotten on their bikes and realised the seat wasn’t comfortable and came in to buy a new one.”

MaD Cycles co-owner Darren Ecclestone said the store had a record sales month in April.

“We were as busy in April as we typically are in December in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.

“Our workshop has been flat out and the accessories sold out almost instantly but we still have plenty of stock in store.

“The pandemic has certainly introduced people to the sport and it’s great to see people out riding, I hope they continue to do so.”

With the increase in bike sales, Mr Linfield said the shop has also had an overwhelming demand for repairs.

“We actually just introduced a mobile workshop bike service where someone goes out to people’s houses and services their bikes because we were just getting so many service requests in here,” he said.

“It’s been a huge success that we will definitely be continuing post COVID-19.

“We’re in a bike industry because we love bikes but riding has huge benefits for people and we’re glad they are starting to realise that.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails