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Cycling Weekly
Cycling Weekly
Luke Friend

Price slashes continue at WiggleCRC amid mass redundancies


Price slashes at cycling retailer WiggleCRC are continuing, as the future of the company's vast portfolio remains unclear. 

On Wednesday, sources within the business - home to in-house brands dhb, Vitus and Lifeline - told Cycling Weekly that almost all staff have now been made redundant, after the business went into administration last October.

The company has "finally hit rock bottom", and there is "hardly anyone left in the office", one source detailed. WiggleCRC's workforce previously numbered around 450. Another source noted "a few are staying to help sell off the remaining stock... otherwise it’s game over." 

Yesterday's redundancies are the third round of layoffs. A 105 members of staff across Wiggle, Chain Reaction Cycles and Hotlines were axed soon after it went into administration but the latest round appears to be even greater in number. While it's reflective of an industry that continues to face commercial challenges it's also a sad day for all those who have been affected by the job cuts.

In October, the joint administrators said they were "proposing to launch a sale process for WiggleCRC and have already received interest from several parties." It's not known if a buyer has been found, or whether theses last cuts are portents of Wiggle's closure, but the extensive online sale continues. 

The extent of the price drops is significant. Premium products from the likes of Castelli and Fizik can be found with as much as a 70% reduction, while in-house brand dhb's sale prices are lower. Vitus bikes are also heavily discounted, with the Venon EVO-GR Rival gravel bike reduced by £1000.

The impact of the ongoing sale is likely to continue to cause turbulence within the industry. As soon as Wiggle went into administration alarm bells were sounded.

"There’s going to be a lot of disruption," said Jonathan Harrison, director of the Association of Cycle Traders, an organisation that supports specialist cycle retailers. "At the moment, the industry is going through so much discounting because of overstocks. This is only going to fuel that fire a bit further."

However, there has been some optimism from smaller, independent bike shops, that Wiggle's situation might lead to move back to bricks and motar stores. 

"We will have to see what the impact of clearance stock, unpaid bills and the possibility of taking down other brands and distributors will be," Gavin Hudson, owner of Butternut Bikes in North London, said. 

"But it’s an opportunity for us to re-engage with customers and to show our customers that we can provide good value on stock. It would be nice to have people visit their local bike shop as their first port of call."

This is an ongoing story and we'll be updating readers as the situation develops.

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