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Thrills and spills of Tour de France gets British cyclists going on helmet buying splurge

28% average sales volume increase in cycling online retail driven by the UK Grand Depart?

Naturally, British cycling heroes Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome are bitterly disappointed that they had to pull out of the Tour de France because of injuries sustained in the early stages of the Tour including the Grand Depart in the UK. But they and UK-based teams like Sky may be a little bit gratified by how publicity about their accidents may have had a positive effect on cycling safety.

New data from MetaPack, the ecommerce company that coordinates online deliveries worth £6 billion pa and works with the UK’s top retailers, shows that sales of bicycle helmets are up 27% following the Grand Depart and other early stages of the race held in Yorkshire, the East and  South East of England and Northern France.

The Tour’s UK stage seems to have stimulated a general increase in cycling-related sales. Comparing sales for 10thJune -13th July this year and in 2013, MetaPack’s data reveals a national average increase of 28% in volumes of cycling products shipped from online retailers to UK consumers. In the Yorkshire cities and towns where the Grand Depart passed through the percentage increases are slightly above average e.g. York 50%; Harrogate 33% and Huddersfield 32%. While not conclusive proof, these national and localised percentage increases suggest some positive effect from the Tour’s visit.

Richard Orme, CIO, MetaPack, leads the company’s data analytics team and said: “Through how we coordinate and see ecommerce traffic among retailers, delivery carriers and customers, we have a unique insight into what consumers are buying and where and when deliveries are being made here and overseas.  In recent years, the UK has gone cycling mad and there’s a huge volume of cycling products bought online every year from our retail brand clients.

The power of the Tour de France should be to get people onto their bike and we’re seeing evidence of that in our data. What’s really interesting is how watching our cycling stars falling off their bikes may have made more of us think more carefully about cycle safety too, ” he added.