Bike shop chain Cycle Republic and the Boardman Performance Centre face closure, parent company Halfords has announced.
Halfords revealed on Monday morning (March 16) that it plans to close its high street cycle shops and the Boardman cycling facility in Evesham, in order to free up money and focus on the motoring aspects of its business.
There will be 226 employees affected by the move, which is being taken after Halfords carried out a “strategic review.”
A Halfords statement to the London Stock Exchange said: "Our proposal links directly to our strategic update in November 2019.
"At the time, we outlined our intent to improve the profitability of our cycling business and the proposed closure of Cycle Republic reflects the challenging economics of a store-based dedicated performance cycling operation.
"Exiting a low-returning, stock intensive business allows us to improve our return on capital whilst freeing up investment and resources to continue to drive our services-focused strategy, with an emphasis on accelerating the growth of our motoring businesses.”
The Boardman Performance Centre offers a broad spectrum of cycling testing and bike-fitting, including a wind-tunnel.
Halfords said that it will also focus on online bike retailer Tredz.
Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “The board has come to the difficult, but necessary, decision to propose the closure of Cycle Republic, our retail store-focussed performance cycling brand.
"This proposal is not a reflection of the hard work of our Cycle Republic colleagues, who I would like to thank for their commitment and passion in serving our customers. We are now moving into a Classification: Restricted period of consultation with impacted colleagues with a view to mitigating as many redundancies as possible.
“Going forward we propose to focus our investment and resources in Halfords and Tredz, through which we will deliver market-leading specialist propositions for both mainstream and enthusiast cyclists via a business model that improves our overall economics.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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