Aside from being among the largest and best-known online cycle retailers in the business, the firm has taken on new brands galore. Wiggle merchandising director
Paul Bolwell tells BikeBiz: “The past 12 months has seen unprecedented growth at Wiggle with lots of new brands on board such as Fox, SE, De Rosa, Pinerello and many more, coupled with the launch of our first own bike brand, Verenti. Growth has been supported by increasing our employee count by a massive 72 per cent year-on-year. Wiggle continues to support the cycling industry as a whole with a series of 28 cycling events throughout the country and sponsoring a growing number of athletes both pro and amateur. Wiggle is committed to setting benchmark buying methods such as our 30 day test-ride on all bikes, with some even more exciting changes in store for 2011.”
The business was established just over six years ago by two University friends and keen riders. Since then the firm has seen substantial growth, moving premises three times and gaining a second warehouse. Despite the current economic climate, the company has seen continued and rapid growth, with a 40 per cent turnover increase between 2008-09 and 2009-10 trading years, and is now importing an even larger range of products and brands. Tarty is reportedly the only trials-specific retailer in the UK which employs full time members of staff (six in total).
Winner of the 2008 BikeBiz Award for online retailer, Chain Reaction Cycles has become one of the biggest names in online cycle retail in the UK. The firm is 25 years old this year and started life as Ballynure Cycles in Northern Ireland. The firm went big into mail order when rivals were still thinking locally, then moved online in 1999. Now the firm has 300 staff and is the Royal Mail’s biggest customer in Northern Ireland.
This well-established mail-order cycle retailer has been in the business for seven years, predominantly supplying mountain bikes to consumers. J Winstanley also has a huge showroom at its Wigan base where it stocks over 3,000 bikes. Retailing an impressive range of brands, the firm is committed to a speedy mail order service, providing useful technical info and advice and offering a friendly and professional service.
Family-run JE James actually boasts large bicycle stores in three towns across Yorkshire and Derbyshire, including Sheffield, Chesterfield and Rotherham. The retailer is famous for turning over huge volumes and a wide selection of cycling goods, holding bicycles in a number of categories, including road bikes, commuter bikes, BMX, mountain bikes, XC, downhill, electric bikes and folding bikes too.
Preston-based Ribble is undoubtedly one of the oldest firms across all the categories this year, having been established way back in 1897.
Despite that long-running heritage the firm has not been slow to form an online retail offering that sees it serve the bike community with product in the road, track, triathlon, MTB and BMX sectors, to name just a few. Also offering special edition road bikes, Ribble builds bikes that have been critically praised.