E-bikes breaking the cycle in Edinburgh’s retail slump

At a time when many retailers are struggling under lockdown, Edinburgh’s e-bike specialists are reporting an unprecedented boom in business.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 7:00 am
The Electric Cycle Company, Granton Road, Edinburgh

Far from being saddled with debt and despair, the Electric Cycle Company on Granton Road has seen sales more than double compared with the same period last year – and they’re still rising.

Managing director Neill Hope, who has taken on five new members of staff in recent weeks, says: “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.

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“The streets have been much quieter and folk are definitely feeling more confident about cycling on the roads with family for their daily exercise or to get to work or to the shops.”

Neill reports that the majority of e-bikes being sold are in the £2000 to £3000 price bracket, with an even split between male and female customers and ages ranging from mid-20s to over-60s.

He has seen a marked increase in sales to younger women, especially NHS workers, using the UK Government’s Cycle To Work Scheme or the Scottish Government-backed Energy Saving Trust eBike Loan to help with the initial investment.

“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 realising that e-bikes make the whole physical process even easier and more joyful than traditional cycling,” he adds. The business has also experienced a massive spike in demand for bike servicing, despite offering it free of charge to essential frontline workers, with parts provided at cost.

In order to support local charities and those who have not been faring so well, ECC recently made a donation of £1500, shared between Street Soccer Scotland, Edinburgh Food Project and Cyrenians.

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