Coronavirus pandemic and its implications on the bicycle industry have disturbed the overall sales of bicycle accessories such as bicycle shoes. Manufacturing, supply chain, as well as logistical operations are critically hampered, resulting in an uncertain business outlook in the near term. Some of the leading manufacturers of bicycle shoes have already warned their investors and customers that the company no longer anticipates a quick bounce-back of business after coronavirus outbreak is contained. Some of the companies at the beginning of 2020 were under the assumption that the situation will normalize in a short period of time. Thus, manufacturers had strategized to achieve their full-year target. As the COVID-19 crisis is intensifying rapidly across the globe, companies are now revising their outlook.
Owing to this, it has become difficult for companies to quantify the negative effect this could have on this financial year’s earnings and revenues. Major companies such as Adidas and Puma are also witnessing a downfall in the sales for FY 2020-2021. During the initial stages of COVID-19 impact, all the offline stores remained opened except in China. As the impact of the virus spread globally, the market players had to shut down their production and keep their stores closed, which severely affected the sales of the bicycle shoes. Moreover, few stores in some of the regions are operating under reduced opening hours as enforced by the government of the country.
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Some of the small companies are planning to promote their products online, as they are unsure of the normalization of the situation throughout the financial year. Furthermore, China resumed back all its operations after a long-term lockdown. It has opened all seaports and ground transportation as well as outbound logistics. This has given some relaxation to the manufacturers for a smooth supply chain. For instance, Adidas and Puma have their major manufacturing units of sports accessoriessuch as bicycle shoes in China. All their facilities remained shut during the lockdown period in the country. This affected the sales of both companies. Thus, some of its stores have reopened and the expected loss will soon be recovered in the country.
Furthermore, this crisis is also encouraging bicycle shoe manufacturers to promote their products on the online shopping portal. In addition, the step taken by the manufacturers will also be beneficial in the long run. Due to this the e-commerce industry is poised to gain significance in the global market. Additionally, due to global lockdown, the people are experiencing weight again. Owing to this, the demand for bicycle shoes will skyrocket, as most of the population will involve themselves in fitness activities such as gym, cycling, and recreational activities.
Surging Female Participation to Push Product Demand
An increase infemale participation for cycling sports is becoming a trend. Health consciousness is one of the major factors that is boosting the interest of participation in females. In addition, female candidates are highly inclined towards leisure activities when compared to sports;however, there is growth in cycling sports participation. Another factor catapulting female participation is the growing media attention. As per British Cycling, from 2013, more women have started taking up cycling in the UK and it has reached the target of getting one million women on bikes by 2020. Similarly, a surge in female participation in cycling sports is experienced across the globe. All these factors are driving the female cycling participation, which in turn, will augment the sales of bicycle shoes across the globe. On the back of these factors, the global bicycle shoes market was valued at US$ 998.7 Mn in 2019.
Growing Bike Sharing Trend in the U.S Influences Product Demand
Corporate sponsors’ logo, stylish branding, and dockless bike sharing are transforming transportation facilities in the United States. Dockless bike sharing is trending across the city as the users can easily park their bikes anywhere within defined locations and lock or unlock the bike with the help of a smartphone application. This is a cost-effective approach that allows the provider to charge lower user fees. Furthermore, Seattle city is expected to have one of the largest bike share systems in the country. Emergence of this trend has vastly escalated the demand for bicycle shoes in the U.S.
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Innovations and Ongoing Trends in the Bicycle Shoe Market
Over the recent past, the global bicycle shoe market has witnessed an increase in the adoption of the product due to growing initiatives taken by gyms, associations, and companies as fitness weekend programs and CSR activities. This, in turn, is accelerating the sales of the cycling accessories such as helmets, bags and bag-packs, and bicycle shoes among riders. Demand for bicycle shoes such as mountain bike shoes and road bike shoes are showcasing noteworthy growth. Likewise, manufacturers are focusing on product development in order tobring a new style and design in the market space.New product launches also support the growing interests of customers for adventure sports.
- In March 2020, Leatt introduced an innovative shoe for mountain biking activity. These shoes are a combination of comfort, design, and control for mountain bikers at all levels. It also offers innovation of carbon rubber soles that provides stability, adherence, and durability while biking.
- In February 2020, Rapha expanded its product range of shoes with the addition of Pro team road shoes. It is among the most elegantly stylish and comfort product launched by Rapha. It has undergone hydrophobic treatment that enhances the suitability in wet conditions. This shoe is becoming a trend in the U.S bicycle shoes market. Owing to these factors, these shoes are also gaining traction in cycling sports.
- In November 2019, PEARL iZUMi, one among the world’s leaders in cycling footwear and apparel, introduced a variety of shoes. The company is popular for innovative bicycle shoes designed especially for gravel riding, indoor studio cycling, and new road shoes made of full carbon -fiber sole. The company debuted all its footwear at Eurobike 2019 as a promotional strategy and to enhancethe customer base.
In August 2019, Bontragerlaunched XXX mountain bike shoe for incredibly comfortable and supporting mountain rides, stiff enough for efficient paddling. These shoes are lightweight in nature as they are particularly made for mountain racing and are an ongoing trend in the bicycle shoes market.
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