The COVID-19 crisis has caused shortages of a variety of goods: From cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer to toilet paper and meat, consumers have been stocking up.
People also have been buying and renting more bikes and scooters.
As the pandemic drones on and consumers shy away from public transportation and shared rides, many are instead using more micromobility. For some, micromobility offers a respite when other forms of transportation — especially in cities — require the use of shared spaces, some with poor ventilation.
The shift in rider behavior has resulted not only in an increase in rentals of shared bikes and scooters but also — at least with bicycles — in more purchases.
Sales for bikes, parts and related accessories shot up a combined 75 percent to $1 billion in April, according to market research company NPD Group. Retailers found themselves dealing with a national bike shortage this summer. Bike sales grew 63 percent year over year in June, including a 190 percent increase in e-bike purchases, NPD said.
But these trends — the increase in rentals and the increase in retail sales — might complement, not compete with, one another.