Bianchi axes jobs amid 'substantial challenges' in cycling industry

Bike manufacturer says 'contraction of the market' following the pandemic has taken its toll on the sector

Bianchi bikes at the Vuelta a España 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Italian bike manufacturer Bianchi has revealed plans to lay off 25 members of staff at its Italian headquarters, citing “substantial challenges” across the cycling industry. 

The planned redundancies, first reported in L'Eco di Bergamo, were announced to union representatives earlier this month, and are thought to affect around 11% of the 220-strong workforce. 

In a statement shared with Cycling Weekly, Bianchi said: “On October 19, 2023, Bianchi officially communicated to the union representatives the need to proceed with a reduction in headcount, quantified at an approximate total of 25 workers.

“Behind this initiative is the necessity to rationalize human resources, in order to contain operational costs and enhance corporate efficiency, within the framework of a phase of substantial challenges that are affecting the entire bicycle sector.” 

Many brands have felt a slump in trade over the past year, following the boom that came with the Covid pandemic

“The contraction of the market, which has characterized the post-pandemic period, has had a significant impact on the global bicycle industry,” the statement from Bianchi continued. 

“At present, Bianchi's corporate strategy is firmly aimed at ensuring the continuity of operations at the Treviglio facility, creating the conditions to seize the opportunities that will arise in the market in the coming months and years.”

The news of the redundancies comes just a month after Bianchi released the latest iteration of its Specialissima road bike. 

Earlier this year, the company redeveloped its headquarters in Treviglio, Italy, extending the site to an area of 30,000 square metres. 

Announcing the €40million (£35million) plans in 2021, the company explained it was “determined to acquire greater control over the production process” in light of “constant growth in demand on the bicycle and e-bike market in recent years.” 

Bianchi hoped to employ more than 250 people at the new facility, but has now had to make a round of redundancies. 

The manufacturer’s cutbacks have been mirrored across various parts of the cycling world.

Last Friday, news broke that online retail giant Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles had entered administration in the latest blow to the industry. The company's announcement followed in the same year that major distributors Moore Large, 2Pure and FLi all closed down. 

Cycling Weekly revealed last week that British Cycling had laid off 11 people as part of a staffing restructure completed in August. 

The redundancies within the governing body came amid a decline in membership and sponsorship woes, having lost £1.35 million in commercial income year-on-year. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1