Raleigh Ireland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raleigh UK. Most of the staff are long-serving, with one staff member having worked for Raleigh Ireland for 29 years. The company handles sales in Northern and southern Ireland. Up until two years ago it had its own fleet of drivers, now all stock is shipped direct from Nottingham via couriers.
Raleigh UK chairman Phillip Darnton informed staff at Raleigh Ireland of the decision at a meeting in Dublin last Thursday.
In a press statement, Darnton said the change was due to “organisational options to safeguard and strengthen [Raleigh's] future operations in the cycle market.”
The offices of Raleigh Ireland will close, and Eurocycles Ltd. will become Raleigh’s
sole distributor for cycles and P&A for the whole of Ireland. The new distributor will be styled Eurocycles Ltd. trading as Raleigh Ireland.
“I have every confidence that this new distribution arrangement will be in the best interests of Raleigh as a leading brand in Ireland, and will also provide the best opportunity for all staff going forward. The new team, under their managing director, Mel Sutcliffe, are well equipped for the challenge ahead, and we in Nottingham will work very closely with Mel to ensure that this new enterprise is a real success for all involved in it.”
A source at Raleigh Ireland told bikebiz.co.uk that rumours about an impending distribution change had been rife for some time (indeed, it was a topic of discussion on the bikebiz.co.uk bulletin board) but that it came as a surprise to be told the new distributor would be Eurocycles.
“They’re not very well known in Northern Ireland and not exactly big in southern Ireland either,” said our source.
“We haven’t seen written details on the severance package yet so won’t be able to decide whether to take Raleigh’s offer to transfer to the new company. Those of us with long service with Raleigh Ireland may not jeopardise our future by going with a company we know so little about.”
Mel Sutcliffe, MD of Eurocycles, said:
“We have come a long way in Eurocycles over the last 18 months. This announcement is a major new step forward for us. After a period of uncertainty, I am delighted that we have been selected to take on responsibility for the sales and distribution of this great brand throughout Ireland. We are determined to maintain the strong reputation which Raleigh enjoys, and add to it a first class level of service and all our enthusiasm to give new momentum to Raleigh in the Irish market.”
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