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Will Jones

'Once the warehouse is clear, it's game over' – WiggleCRC lays off almost entire workforce


Thanks to an anonymous source, Cyclingnews understands that beleaguered multi-sport retail giant, WiggleCRC (comprising Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles) is to lay off its entire workforce.

It appears that this is the final act before sale, with the new owner not wanting to take any staff onward from the business as it currently stands. While a number of staff are currently remaining, the majority of the workforce has been made redundant immediately. 

An anonymous source says that "once the warehouse is clear, it’s game over. Wiggle and CR [Chain Reaction Cycles. ed.] will cease. The brands have been bought, but IP only – no staff or stock." It is understood that the remaining staff are being kept on in temporary employment, and will eventually also be let go.

WiggleCRC's owned brands include Vitus and Nukeproof bikes, alongside clothing and component brands such as dhb and Lifeline. It is understood that staff working directly on these brands have also been let go.

Cyclingnews has approached CityPress, working on behalf of the administrators, FRP Advisory, for comment, but it declined to comment at this stage. 

Newly redundant staff though are already turning to LinkedIn to hunt for new roles elsewhere, with one stating "my time is up, along with everyone else within the organisation."

The situation at WiggleCRC has been tumultuous over recent months, to say the least, with the brand put up for sale in October amid administrators being appointed. The company switched off international e-commerce stores in November.

In the wake of the administration process, WiggleCRC axed 105 jobs, leaving around 500 staff sustaining the operations of the one-time giant of cycling e-commerce. The following month a smaller round of nine redundancies took place.

Of those remaining staff, it is suggested that only a handful have remained to oversee the sale of remaining stock. A second source told Cyclingnews that "a few staff are staying to help trade down all the remaining stock, and then it's curtains". Orders are expected to continue to be fulfilled for as long as the e-commerce store remains functional.

The business is understood to owe money to several retailers, suppliers and brands, with debts totalling £26.6m according to a report by the company's administrators FRP Advisory.

The news comes in the wake of recent layoffs from numerous cycling businesses, with news of fresh layoffs at indoor cycling specialist Zwift in early February. That followed substantial redundancies associated with the closure of cycling streaming platform GCN+ in mid-January - where Play Sports Network is understood to have cut over 100 jobs across all departments.

Rumours of potential buyers of WiggleCRC have been swirling, but as is often the case with an ailing British retailer, rumours of Mike Ashley as a potential buyer have been the strongest. 

This is still yet to be confirmed. 

Given the dynamic nature of the situation, we will update you as and when more information becomes available. 

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