Scotland’s largest specialist e-bike retailer experiences 80% rise in e-bike sales and 200% rise in service sales during Covid-19 Lockdown. Five new members of staff have been contracted and £1500 has been donated to North Edinburgh charities, through an online poll.
Sales of electric bikes at the Electric Cycle Company (ECC), Scotland’s largest specialist e-bike retailer, based on Granton Road, Edinburgh, have increased by at least 80% during the 10 weeks of Covid-19 Lockdown, as compared with the same period in 2019. With a sales to square foot ratio of more than £600 per square foot [Tesco is just over £900] in this period, ECC, may also have been the busiest bike retailer in Scotland. Service sales have also increased by as much as 200%; and five new members of staff have been contracted as a direct result.
Neill Hope, MD of the Electric Cycle Company, said: “Nobody could have foreseen Covid-19 occurring and the resulting demand for bikes. For obvious reasons, people have not wanted to use public transport during lockdown. They have also been avoiding non-essential travel by car. The streets have been much quieter and folk are definitely feeling more confident about cycling on the roads with family for their limited daily exercise or to get to work or to the shops.”
“Our new customers are not only getting to grips with the many health and financial benefits of cycling for both commuting and exercise, but also quickly realising that e-bikes make the whole physical process even easier and more joyful than traditional cycling, despite the larger initial investment. Edinburgh, with its many steep hills, is the perfect city for an electric bike.”
Since 23 March 2020 80% of bike sales at ECC have been to those buying their first e-bike, with the majority of e-bikes being sold in the £2000 – £3000 price bracket. There has been an even split of male and female customers with an age range of between mid 20’s to the over 60’s. However, there has been a marked increase in younger women, especially health workers from the NHS, using the UK Government’s Cycle To Work Scheme or the Scottish Government backed Energy Saving Trust eBike Loan scheme to help with their bike purchases.
Despite offering free bike servicing to essential frontline workers from the start of the Covid-19 Lockdown (with any required parts being sold at cost), ECC’s service sales have increased by as much as 200% on the same period last year; with a current waiting time on bike servicing of two weeks. This far outweighs the regular spike in servicing sales in January and February, when clients are often referred to in house as the ‘New Year’s Resolution Customers’.
Realising that many people have been suffering significantly during the lockdown, the ECC team wanted to do their bit to help out. Following a recent online poll through Facebook and Twitter, ECC have just donated £1500 to three local charities, giving back to a local community that has nurtured the business over their last ten years of operation.
Neill Hope added: “To assuage our guilt that the business was doing so well out of the most horrible situation, we wanted to give back to the North Edinburgh community with a charitable donation. Sharing £1500, Edinburgh Food Project, Cyrenians and Street Soccer Scotland were the three charities our customers voted for in an online poll. This is in addition to our continued annual support to Kids Love Clothes, Granton Youth and St Columba’s Hospice.”
This exponential increase in e-bike sales and bike servicing has led to five additional members of staff being given employment contracts at the ECC – two sales people, an administrator and two bike mechanics.