Bicycle sales in the Czech Republic have skyrocketed as a result of the restrictions related to the Covid-19 crisis. According to sellers and distributors, the demand for bicycles has risen by up to 50 percent year-on-year in recent months.
As a result, many shops in the country are struggling to meet the surge in demand and prices of bikes are likely to increase in the future, the website Aktuálně reported on Tuesday.
The interest in cycling, which is traditionally very popular in the Czech Republic, is attributed mainly to the fact that the majority of Czechs are holidaying at home this year, as well as the fact that some people bought a bike in order to avoid using public transport.
Sellers around the country say their warehouses are almost empty and there is now a waiting list for bicycles in many stores. According to Jiří Uher of the Czech branch of Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, the situation could improve in August:
“During the coronavirus crisis our assembly lines in Europe and production of components in Taiwan were suspended and production was slowed down. Due to this unexpected development, our stores are supplied in waves,” he told Aktuálně.cz.
Bicycle producer Kross started to feel the impacts of the crisis already at the end of January and start of February, when production and transport of components from Asia slowed down or was completely halted:
“This outage, which lasted for up to eight weeks, has of course had a negative impact on the supply of material for production of bikes and e-bikes,” Tomáš Stratil, regional export manager at Kross told the website.
According to Roman Spudil, co-owner of the Prague-based bike shop SP Kolo, which recorded a 30 percent surge in demand this year, prices of bikes could increase by up to 10 percent in the next few years as a result of growing demand.
“The price increase will not be caused by growing demand, but by the higher cost of components. It will also be affected by the insecure Czech currency,” Filip Mašínský of Bike-eshop.cz told the website.
Last Monday, the Czech government approved a contribution of CZK two billion from the European Commission’s recovery fund to the development of cycling. According to the government, cycling is safer and healthier than using the public transport and environmentally friendlier than using a car.