Thursday, December 06, 2018

Breaking News: Interbike Show Cancelled For 2019

The Interbike trade show is not happening next year for the first time in 37 years.
In a bombshell dropped on Thursday evening, the trade paper, "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" announced that Interbike, a trade show run by Emerald Enterprises, would not be held in 2019.

Citing responses gathered from attendants to the 2018 show, Emerald representatives said that costs and the changes in the marketplace forced their hand and plans for the 2019 show were scuttled. Some hope was held out that a show in some reformatted way could be held in the future.

Meanwhile it was reported that several Interbike employees were laid off and that three major non-profits in the industry were notified that Interbike would not be honoring their commitment to funding for those organizations. One of those is People For Bikes.

Comments: My first reaction was that of surprise that the news came out now, but after reading the article from BRAIN, I could see why the timing happened as it did. But overall, I am not at all surprised by this announcement. It was obvious, at least to me, for years that Interbike was in decline, and more importantly, that it was becoming increasingly irrelevant. Long time readers here already know about how I feel about that.

But the collateral damage is what I think is the real story, and it is sad. People are going to have their lives very negatively affected by this, and especially during this time of year- I cannot think of a worse situation for those folks in terms of careers and livelihood. Those non-profits that counted on Interbike's support will have huge holes to fill, and I doubt seriously that they will be filled. That is also very sad.

But here's the deal: We are only two weeks down the road from a big announcement of a bicycle company's bankruptcy, and now this. The bicycle industry is in severe straights. I've never seen it this bad, and I am betting it gets worse before it gets better. There are rumblings of take-overs of bike shops by brands, closures of stores, and brands teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Folks, it isn't a joke. This is serious stuff.

The entire bicycle industry as we know it now is going through major changes. What comes out the other side is anyone's guess now, but one thing is for sure- it's gonna be painful to watch. For everyone.

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