Tuesday, September 14, 2010

they're hosed

The North American bike industry trade show known as Interbike has announced that in 2011, it will move from Las Vegas (that wasteland of utter absurdity) to Anaheim, CA (that wasteland of utter absurdity).

Perhaps even more significantly than the change in location is the new date: Instead of holding the show in late September, when most dealers are beginning to wind down their season and can actually get away to attend a trade show, Interbike 2011 will take place the first week of August, meaning that almost no one outside of southern California will be able to attend.

Early August is high season for bike retailers and I know that we -- and most mid-level, smaller shops -- would be hard-pressed to spare anyone at that time. Plus, unless the entire bike industry has decided to change their manufacturing and pre-season forecasting schedules, Interbike threatens to become even more irrelevant than it already is, since few items unveiled at the show would be available in quantity before early 2012 anyway. Or, conversely, smaller retailers could, over time, become more irrelevant to Interbike and the largest bike manufacturers, which is certainly another possibility. However, That possibility will take longer to come to fruition; and lots of small hole-in-the-wall shops are still hanging on and doing relatively well, even in the midst of the biggest recession to bite us on the fanny since nineteen-thirty-something.

In the words of one of my visiting reps, who shall remain anonymous, "They're hosed."

I agree. With major manufacturers already pulling out of this year's show (Bell/Blackburn, et al will not have a booth at the show, though I understand they will have some kind of presence at the Outdoor Demo a couple of days beforehand), Interbike, Inc. is going to take a bath if it goes through with this change.

Fascinating. Especially as I begin to finalize my dance card for this year's outing.

No comments: