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Supply chain delays: Anchorage bike stores say they are finally seeing products they ordered over a year ago

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 7:53 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Bicycle Shop, after two years of waiting, is finally seeing their racks filled with bicycles again.

“The last couple of months we’ve seen a big influx of receiving bikes so right now we are chock, chock full,” said Suzanne Westfield, manager at The Bicycle Shop in Anchorage.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Westfield says, the store’s storage area downstairs was so empty that the employees would joke about how they could fit a bowling alley in its place. Now, they say the area is overflowing with bikes ready to be sold.

“It’s pretty cool for people that have been waiting, you know, six months to a year, to finally get them the bikes they were looking for,” Westfield said.

Other bike shops in town, like Trek Bicycle Store of Anchorage, say they are also seeing their racks filled right now. However, they find themselves facing a slight problem. A large portion of their inventory is out of season.

“In years past, you would order bikes for a heavy spring season, and then you’d get fat bikes hopefully in late August,” said Bill Fleming, the owner at Trek Bicycle. “But you don’t really know when you’re going to get that inventory now. And so what we’re seeing is a lot of bikes are showing up late, and out of season.”

Fleming says the bikes the shop is carrying right now were ordered 20 months ago and were meant for riding in the spring and summer months. The models that they have now, that were supposed to come out years ago, are now considered the newest bikes in the market.

“Everything is so delayed that when it comes out, it really is the next year’s bike,” Fleming said. “And so what they told us is, if you put an order in for a bike, you should anticipate you’re not actually going to receive the bike that is shown in the picture. You’re going to get next year’s bike.”

This makes it difficult to plan, he said.

The trick, both stores say, in making sure their racks stay prepared and in season in the future is ordering their products early.

“Right now we are ordering about a year out,” Westfield said. “And generally speaking in the bike world, you’re kind of ordering for the next year anyway. And that’s just kind of been exasperated by COVID.”

Both stores say if you are looking to purchase a spring or summer bike, this is the prime time to hit the stores to find one.

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