Probikeshop, one of the sister sites of Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (WiggleCRC), has entered administration, according to reports in France.
The online retailer is considered the leading seller of bikes in France, and is now searching for buyers to save the business.
Probikeshop shares the same parent company as WiggleCRC, Signa Sports United, which itself filed for insolvency last month.
According to French news agency AFP, Probikeshop entered administration on 7 November through the Lyon commercial court. The administrators have now asked buyers to submit offers by 1 December.
In 2021, the French retailer experienced a boom in trade, turning over a profit of over €150 million (£130.6 million) and employing 300 people. Following a slump across the industry, these numbers have since fallen, with the company downsizing to 83 employees, and turning over €57 million (£49.7 million).
At the start of October, parent company Signa Sports United announced its own financial troubles, saying it was suffering "severe liquidity challenges" and singling out its “bike segment” brands as underperforming. Just two weeks later, the company closed its North American bike division with a few days’ notice.
Within a month, British site WiggleCRC entered administration. A statement from the administrators, FRP Advisory, read: "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."
Just over a week later, it was revealed by Cycling Weekly that the company had made 105 members of staff redundant. “This decision was not taken lightly,” the administrators said.
In WiggleCRC’s latest company accounts, which cover activities to 30 September 2022, the group posted a pre-tax loss of over £97 million.
WiggleCRC was acquired by Berlin-based Signa Sports United in 2021, while Probikeshop was taken over in 2017. Last year, the parent company chose to uproot the French retailer’s logistical operations to a warehouse in Germany, which saw its workforce halved.
Signa Sports United’s cycling portfolio also includes the German site Bikester, as well as bike brands Vitus and Nukeproof.
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