Exclusive: More jobs axed at struggling WiggleCRC

Nine people lost their jobs on Thursday, bringing the total to 114 redundancies since the retailer entered administration

A three-logo collage of Wiggle, Chain Reaction Cycles and Hotlines
(Image credit: Wiggle/Chain Reaction/Hotlines)

The online cycling retail giant Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (WiggleCRC) has made a second round of redundancies after entering administration in October.

On Thursday, nine members of staff lost their jobs; six from Wiggle in Portsmouth, two from Chain Reaction Cycles in Northern Ireland and one from Hotlines, the group’s distribution arm in Edinburgh. 

The news comes a month after WiggleCRC laid off 105 people.

The latest round of redundancies is connected to the company’s decision to close its international web shops, the joint administrators at FRP Advisory, confirmed to Cycling Weekly

The latest set of job cuts brings the total jobs lost to 114.

On Thursday, Cycling Weekly broke the news that WiggleCRC is planning to “pivot the business” to focus solely on the UK domestic market. A statement from the joint administrators said the international Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles sites will be closed “over the coming weeks”. 

The statement read: “To ensure that WiggleCRC is in the best possible position to build on its core strengths and market leading position, the decision has been taken to pivot the business model to solely focus on the UK domestic market which currently accounts for 85% of the group’s revenues.

“[The international] part of the business has been impacted by a range of economic factors including rising international air freight costs and Brexit.”

Until now, the group has sold products across the EU and the rest of the world, with customers as far away as Australia. International sales, however, declined by 26% in the year to 30 September 2022, the period covered by the company's latest accounts

WiggleCRC made its first round of redundancies a week after entering administration in October. The dismissals came in different parts of the business, including merchandising, marketing, and design, and were made with immediate effect, with no consultation period. 

In a statement shared at the time, the administrators said the decision “was not taken lightly”. 

“Regrettably, the financial position of the business means that it has been necessary to make a number of redundancies to allow the business to continue to trade in readiness of the proposed sales process,” they said. 

Around 500 members of staff were retained to support the business as it was prepared for sale.  

The administrators have since said that the search for a buyer is “progressing swiftly”, with up to nine parties understood to have expressed interest. 

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