Bright prospects for growth in bicycle market

February 21, 2023 - 08:21
With the decline of motorbikes, commuters have no choice but to rely on bicycles for short-distance travel, which is good news for bicycle sellers.
A chain store in HCM City. The chain aims to raise its number of stores to over 100 in the next few years. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — With more Vietnamese commuters choosing to cycle, the prospects for the bicycle market look promising with great opportunities for bicycle retailers.

Peter Nguyễn, general manager of Vòng Xanh JSC, revealed that the market is growing by 15 per cent annually with about 2.5 million bicycles sold every year, equivalent to aggregate revenue of VNĐ7.5 trillion (US$320 million).

Children's bicycles dominate sales in the market over the past few years as Vietnamese parents are willing to buy up to three bicycles for their children when they are between one and 15 years old.

The general manager underlined three factors that would continue to fuel the market growth in the long term.

The first factor involves the rising middle class in the country, which would drive a new trend toward cycling for health, increasing the demand for sports bicycles.

Another factor is the addition of bike lanes to urban streets, which would encourage bicycle commuting and increase the number of cyclists in big cities. As more people stop using their cars and shift to greener means of transport, bicycle sales would rise.

The last factor centres around the expansion of public transport systems, a trend that drives motorbikes out of big cities. With the decline of motorbikes, commuters have no choice but to rely on bicycles for short-distance travel, which is good news for bicycle sellers.

The bicycle market is lucrative but fragmented. Big companies hold just 10 per cent of the market share whereas 90 per cent falls to a large number of small-sized retailers.

Mobile World JSC participated in the market in 2022 with the launch of the AVACycle chain that comprises 158 bicycle stores.

Mobile World CEO Đoàn Văn Hiểu Em revealed that each store grossed over 50 bicycles in daily sales just a few days after its launch.

As such, AVACycle is expected to make around VNĐ400 billion ($17 million) in revenue in its first year of operation and continue to grow steadily year by year.

Another retail giant in the market is Vòng Xanh JSC, which moved in 2016 and owns the chain that comprises 22 bicycle stores. The company has also expanded its reach to e-bikes with the introduction of has been financed recently by Excelsior Capital Asia to expand its presence in the country. Supported by the fund, the bicycle chain has aimed to reach 100 stores in the next few years.

Some experts were concerned that AVACycle and would price small-sized retailers out of the market with their deep discount policy. However, Peter Nguyễn said it would not be the case.

He asserted that over 2,300 stores owned by small-sized retailers would continue to hold grounds despite the entry of because Vòng Xanh does not aim to achieve 'something big' but simply try to bring 'something new' to the table.

Meanwhile, Đoàn Văn Hiếu Em revealed that the shop-in-shop approach has allowed AVACycle to substantially cut its operational costs and rents. The money saved has been spent on discounts and sale promotions, which, he believed, would help the chain secure around 40 per cent of the market shares in the short term.

Normally, the period from July to December is the peak season for bicycle sales. However, the situation was different last year as bicycle sales in Q3 and Q4/2022 fell by more than 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. The fall in sales was caused largely by the global economic recession.

Experts believed that the downturn would be short-lived and a boom in sales would be within sight for bicycle retailers. For this reason, many international funds have begun to pour their money into the bicycle market despite the recession. — VNS