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2 Apr 2024

Walsall's cycling community has been celebrating a family-owned business which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
 

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Takeover of Wiggle is a chance for small bike businesses, says clothing CEO

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

CEO of UK cycle clothing and accessories brand Lusso has said that the takeover of Wiggle by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group represents an opportunity for small bike businesses to benefit from.

Lusso

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Jake Wright said:

"There's definitely opportunities there now, because it's more than likely that the Wiggle-owned brands like DHB won't be trading for a year or two while it gets under new management and restarts again."

"So we're looking to capitalise on where those customers are going to go in the short term. And hopefully they like us, and they come back to us. We don't have this massive budget to spend on marketing to shout about our name, so we rely on the sort of loyal following that we've amassed over the last 40 years to just keep coming back."

Wiggle CRC entered administration in October and was put up for sale after its parent company, Signa Sports United, had €150 million in financial guarantees terminated.

Lusso makes its own clothing in its small Manchester-based headquarters, and like other manufacturers and retailers its size, doesn't have the marketing budget of global giants like Wiggle CRC. Wiggle had so much clout that its recent closing down sale had a significant effect on Lusso's financials for the last quarter of 2023, Wright said, as customers flocked to buy goods at rock-bottom prices.

This does mean that small businesses offering only entry-level kit could feel the strain, Wright said: "We have an entry-level range, but we offer other things as well, so I think the more premium brands will be fine. Because I don't see Wiggle / Frasers having the reputation to create something that's going to match the likes of say, Rapha, or, you know, like a more premium retailer."

With so many staff and bills to pay for, and inventory to keep moving, the biggest retailers – such as Wiggle – are the least stable, Wright pointed out. Now is the time, he insisted, to support local businesses, small businesses. 

Writing on his Lusso blog  he said: "If current trends continue, we’ll only be left with big corporations running the show. I would encourage everyone to support local bike shops and local businesses if they can. And although recent times have been tough, the future looks promising."

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