An Evans store Instagram account has been taken over by a suspected disgruntled employee and is criticising the new owners.
The cycling retail giant has been through a turbulent few years after it was forced to seek a £10million cash injection to stay afloat before it was bought by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
After the takeover, the new owners announced around half of the 60 stories across the UK could be closed to save the business.
In response to the takeover and closures an Instagram account, believed to have formerly been the Gatwick Evans branch page, has been re-branded as ‘Make Evans Great Again’ and has been critical of the new owners.
The account, which previously posted a combination of riding pictures and products for sale, has since accused the company directors of “incompetence.”
An Evans spokesperson has said its legal team is investigating the account and that it believes the account has been taken over by a former employee.
A post on the @makeevansgreatagain account, released on New Year’s Eve with a picture of caps embroidered with the slogan ‘Make Evans Great Again’, said:
“Communication in any business is key and with poor communication comes poor company structure and everyone becomes more and more divided.
“Directors and higher management have failed with their head in the sand, incompetence and dictate to everyone whether it be with their unrealistically high targets awful decisions in spending company money or just taking honest feedback plus much more.”
“We as a company need a fresh start with new people with great minds instead of old men who know nothing and will destroy the company and move onto the next.
“We hope Sports Direct gets this message with great positivity and takes in what the people are saying because there is a lot of good talented people that work for Evans and even more talented people who have left.”
The account’s bio claims it is run by a “multiple admins with a passion for cycling,” while Road CC (opens in new tab) reports that the account may be run by a number of current employees.
An Evans Cycles spokesperson said: “We are aware of the Instagram Account in question as it was a store account that was accessed without permission and re-purposed by a former employee, who we believe is acting alone in this campaign. It’s now with our legal team and Instagram as we aim to restore the account to it’s intended purpose.
“We have internal processes for colleagues to raise their concerns with us directly.”
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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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