'On your bike' - Lockdown leads to boom in sales

There has been a boom in bike sales locally this year.

That's according to a new report that claims bike sales are up 60% in Westmeath during the first nine months of 2020.

Reduced traffic due to Covid-19 restrictions, good weather and investment in cycling infrastructure has seen sales in bicycle stores increase nationally by 32%.

The data also reveals that people are spending more in bicycle shops than last year, with the value of transactions up 13% year on year. The data, which was compiled from almost one million AIB debit and credit card transactions between January and September 2019 and 2020 has been anonymised and aggregated.

The month of June, when restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic started to lift, saw consumers rush to bicycle stores, with sales 70% higher than those in June 2019. This was after a drop in sales (-34% YOY) in April when physical bicycle stores and stricter Covid-19 restrictions were in place. In July and August sales in bicycle stores were 63% and 53% higher year on year respectively with this trend continuing into to September with sales 63% higher than September 2019. The biggest increase in bicycle store spend was in Westmeath up 59% year on year, followed by Dublin which saw sales increase 40% year on year.

The smallest increase in bicycle store spend was in Kerry with sales up only 2% year on year. Those over the age of 55 accounted for the biggest increase in sales this year, with those between the ages of 55 and 64 spending 41% more than last year, and those over 65 spending 48% more in bike stores than in 2019. Spend by women in bicycle stores was 41% higher than in 2019. Meanwhile, spend among men was 29% higher than in 2019.

Rachel Naughton, Head of SME Banking at AIB said “Covid-19 has accelerated many changes in Irish society as people adapt to new, more sustainable ways of living. Reduced traffic on our roads, increased cycling infrastructure and good weather this year saw consumer spending in bicycles stores up 32% on last year. In June, when the restrictions lifted and people were allowed move more freely, bicycle store sales were 70% higher when compared with the previous year. The demographics of who is cycling has also changed, with those over 65 spending 48% more in bicycle stores than they did in 2019, while spend by women in bicycle stores was 41% higher than in 2019.”

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