Fire sale as London bike shop chain closes

Velorution set to close its four stores and website, a month after it was put up for sale

(Image credit: Velorution)

A London bike shop chain is to close due to "economic conditions", meaning that its four stores and website will cease trading, it was announced on Saturday

As a result, Velorution, which opened its first store on Great Portland Street in 2012, is hosting a closing-down sale from Monday 18 September for "approximately one week" online and in-store, with all stock needing to be sold.

The news comes a month after it was announced that the urban and electric bike retailer was up for sale. The company's four stores are in Chelsea, Marylebone, Islington and London Fields.

The 'sale' page on Velorution's website lists deals on BMC, Orbea, Tern, Wahoo and Abus [at time of writing] - but the brand also stocks the likes of Pashley and Gazelle, and the homepage suggests customers visit to "make us an offer in store".

In a post on LinkedIn titled "The End of the Cycle Lane", Velorution said that it had entered into a process of shutting down its business, and thanked its customers for their support over the past two decades.

The announcement read: "Velorution has been serving the London bike community for nearly 20 years, but sadly due to the economic conditions (which have been particularly harsh on the cycling industry) and circumstances beyond our control (a bus crashing into our Chelsea store certainly didn't help!), we have sadly decided to enter into a programme which will involve the closure of each of Velorution's four shops and its website. 

"Whilst we're currently offering 25% off everything (some exclusions apply) on our website we will be undertaking a closing-down sale from the 18th of September for approximately one week. All of our stock will be sold so be sure to grab a one-in-a-lifetime bargain - either online or in-store. 

"We'd like to take this moment to thank every single one of our customers who has shopped with us over the past two decades. Whether that's been buying a bike, visiting us for a service or even just buying a coffee from our famous trike (which is also for sale) - it's been a great journey and we hope to see another generation of Velorution in future. 

"All of our stores remain open and contactable for enquiries during this time."

It is not the first cycling retailer to struggle in 2023. 

Last month, online cycling retailer Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) posted a pre-tax loss of almost £100million in its latest company accounts, citing Brexit and the post-pandemic cycling slump as factors that hit the business.

In documents filed last month, the directors presented their report on the company’s finances, in which they noted a “challenging” economic situation in the UK. 

“The Group is suffering from the aftereffects of the Covid pandemic,” Wiggle chief finance officer Adrian Bruce wrote, highlighting that the lockdowns initially led to a “pull forward of revenue”. 

In June, Evans Cycles reported a pre-tax loss of £5.2m ($6.5m) in the year to 25 April 2022, down from £2.7m ($3.4m) the year before.

The group also reported a 50% fall in revenue to £45.3m from £91.6m. However, this was due to a restructuring of the firm following its integration into the Fraser Group business alongside other brands including Sports Direct.

UK-based online retailer ProBikeKit (PBK) is set to close, according to reports from April. Major UK distributor Moore Large  and brands Velovixen and Milltag entered administration this year, as well. In the UK bike sales are reportedly at their lowest level for 20-years.

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