SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA (BRAIN)─Interbike's pre-show numbers for the indoor portion of the industry's annual gathering, the International Bicycle Expo, are expected to match or exceed the numbers from last year's show.
An indication the industry is feeling positive about the future, despite uncertain economic times, the 2008 International Bicycle Expo already includes close to 312,000 of net-sold, square-feet of exhibit space, not including the thousands of square-feet given to industry non-profit and advocacy organizations. The reported figure represents close to 800 exhibiting companies and more than 1,100 brands.
The final net-sold, square-foot figure is expected to be close to or higher than last year's record show. The trade-only event will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, September 24-26.
With recent increases in the price of gasoline, bicycles are gaining momentum as a viable alternative mode of transportation. Bicycle retailers report increases in new bike sales and in repair orders of older bikes as well. Capitalizing on the momentum, bicycle and accessory manufacturers are planning on launching a broad range of new products at Interbike.
"With sales greatly increasing in the commuting category, and other categories as well, we are looking forward to introducing several new products at the show," said
Steve Flagg, president of Quality Bicycle Products. "As QBP has grown with the market, Interbike has been and will continue to be the best venue for us to launch new products."
Another indication of the industry's optimism is in planned Interbike attendance. More than 13,000 individual buyers, representing close to 3,000 storefronts plan on attending the Interbike International Bicycle Expo, an increase of 21 percent for both figures, compared to the same time last year.
"The bicycle industry is in a very exciting position," said Andy Tompkins, Interbike's show director. "Consumers are looking for ways to save money, and they are looking to bikes to help them do that, both in their daily life and for recreation. Interbike is a direct reflection of the marketplace, and the increase in the number of exhibiting companies, both international and domestic, suggests the industry is very healthy and has opportunities for growth."