Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles put up for sale as it enters administration

Online retail chain had had a troubled couple of weeks as parent company prepares insolvency filings

Wiggle logo
(Image credit: Wiggle)

Online cycling retail giant Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (WiggleCRC) has today entered administration. 

The company, Wiggle Limited, posted that it had appointed administrations Alastair Massey and Anthony Wright of FRP Advisory in The Gazette

A statement from the administrators said the business would continue to trade and that its staff of around 450 people had all been retained. It will be put up for sale.

Wright, partner at FRP, said: “WiggleCRC is one of Europe’s best-known sports retailers and has built a committed customer following in the cycling community. 

"The administration provides a crucial period of protection for WiggleCRC as we prepare to market the business for sale. The group has a quality stable of brands and a leading market position, so we expect there to be interest and encourage potential buyers to come forward."

He added that all operations are continuing as normal and customer support was in place. Also, the customers' returns period is operating in line with the usual Wiggle terms and conditions.

In the latest WiggleCRC company accounts, which covered activities to 30 September 2022, the group revealed a pre-tax loss of over £97 million

Chief finance officer Adrian Bruce wrote in a statement accompanying the accounts that the group was "suffering from the aftereffects of the Covid pandemic". The directors also pointed to a fall in international sales caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union. 

The administration comes after a period of financial turmoil for the retailer and its parent company, Signa Sports United (SSU), which saw €150 million of financing guarantees terminated by its ultimate parent company, Signa Holdings, earlier this month. 

Several of SSU's European subsidiaries subsequently entered insolvency over the last week.

When parent company SSU announced its financial troubles at the start of October, it singled out its “bike segment” brands as underperforming. Just two weeks later, the company closed its North American bike division, which ceased all operations with a few days’ notice. 

It is unknown at this stage what will happen to WiggleCRC’s stock, although it is likely its assets, and quite possibly the business as a whole, will now be put up for sale. 

The group’s demise comes in a challenging year for the cycling industry. At the turn of 2023, British kit companies Presca and Milltag were forced to close down. 

Long-standing distributor Moore Large then collapsed in March, with one of its competitors, 2Pure, following suit in May. 

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles merged in 2016 and the group was acquired by SSU in 2021. Later that year, SSU went public and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company chose to delist this October, citing "severe liquidity and profitability challenges". 

If you've been affected by Wiggle entering administration in any way we'd like to hear your story, email: cycling@futurenet.com

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