Pandemic causes supply and demand issues for Duluth bike shop

Brandon Weathers
Updated: August 13, 2020 11:21 PM

The outdoors have served as a much needed escape this summer. As a result, trails across the Duluth have seen more use than ever before.


Matt Andrews, Parks and Recreation trail coordinator for the City of Duluth, said, "Every trail in town that we've seen that we've counted on has had pretty big increases, and if we extrapolate out the data we have so far, it shows that numbers are nearly double what they normally are."

The sharp up-tick in activity has several implications. "From every angle it's a positive thing. From community health to our local bike shops staying in business with people wanting to buy more bikes and get out on the trails, and that plays into our economic health and tourism and everything," Andrews said.

In fact, rather than having to worry about keeping the doors open, bike shops are running into problems with supply and demand.

Ski Hut manager David Neustel said, "Our suppliers have been shut down for a while so products aren't being made quite as quickly, also warehouses are running at, like, 60% capacity, so things aren't getting out the door quite as quick"

This reflects in some changes to inventory. Ski Hut’s service department has seen similar challenges with parts as manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand.

"Typically we're looking at anywhere from three to five days on repairs, and right now we're looking at two to three weeks on repairs just because of the amount of bikes that are coming in," Neustel said.


Brandon Weathers

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