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Bury St Edmunds bike shops report huge rise in trade during lockdown

Aside from manufacturers of toilet roll and hand sanitiser, there are not many businesses who can come away from the Covid-19 pandemic in a better position.

But bike shops nationwide have been defying a largely grim high street picture, seeing record demand as consumers turn to pedal power.

Shops in Bury St Edmunds have seen a rise of up to 400 per cent in demand from the same period last year.

Chloe Hailstone, manager of Micks Cycles	Picture by Mecha Morton
Chloe Hailstone, manager of Micks Cycles Picture by Mecha Morton

Good weather, restrictions on travel and activities, and allowances for bike rides are all thought to have contributed to the sector’s growth.

And while most non-essential shops opened their doors to the public this week, bike shops have been allowed to continue trading throughout lockdown.

Chloe Hailstone, manager of Micks Cycles, in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, said: “Through the coronavirus pandemic we have seen such a considerable increase, of which we could never have imagined.

“We have seen this soaring demand in both bike sales, and customers repairing and servicing their current bikes. The figures haven’t been finalised, but we expect them to be an increase of 400 per cent from the same time last year.”

A national survey by the Bike Association Trade stated bike sales have increased by 50 per cent across the board. Halfords’ sales have risen by 80 per cent, and eBay has seen new bike sales increase by 23 per cent.

Sarah Wightman, owner of Revel Outdoors, in Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds, said: “We have been very busy. We were lucky enough to be one of the few shops on the exemption list. We have stayed open to keep people cycling for transport and fitness purposes.

“Cycling is one of the things people were able to do, and a lot of our customers have got back onto their bikes. It means our workshop has been busy and new stock has been limited.”

Chloe Hailstone added: “With this increase in demand, and the production delay for manufacturing, there are some brands that have completely sold out until later this year so we are having to forward order large numbers to enable us to have stock left for the rest of the year.

“This increase must mean that people are getting outside and cycling more which is great for their health and wellbeing in uncertain times.”

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