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Brexit blamed by cycle distributor as it ceases trading.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

“Red tape and barriers to trade” currently affecting businesses because of Brexit have been blamed by cycle distributor FLi Distribution after it ceased trading with immediate effect.

Brexit Britain

FLi – which began life in 2008 as FLi Race Team Management, before transitioning to distribution – was known for supplying KTM bikes to the UK for over a decade, a relationship which ended in April this year.

The distributor notified dealers and suppliers of its decision to cease trading earlier this month, with director Colin Williams citing the impact of Brexit, the complexities and restrictions surrounding UK and EU trading, and the difficulties facing the bike industry in the post-Covid lockdown period as the main reasons behind the company’s demise.

Road.cc quoted a Williams post on LinkedIn as saying: “That’s it, FLi is done. Thank you to everyone who’s supported FLi over the past 15-plus years… it would not have been possible without all of you who’ve helped out in thousands of ways, making 99 percent of my time running FLi so much fun. So if you’ve helped in any way, thank you, it’s been a great ride.

“But if you voted for Brexit, please realise this is 90 percent because of your decision back in 2016. I have no idea what will be next, but as the people close to me know, whatever it is, it’ll be better than the last 18 months.

“I’m done fighting, I’m done with the red tape and the barriers to trade. It hadn’t been fun for some time, so the time was right to end it now, life is too short. The relief now the decision is made is amazing, but I am so sorry for any negative impacts it will have on anyone and I’m doing my best to resolve any and all of them where I can.”

Earlier this year, Williams told the road.cc Podcast that the bottom line of companies in the UK bike industry is being squeezed like never before, thanks to the supply chain and manufacturing disruption brought on by the pandemic, as well as the impact of Brexit on trade.

He explained that because many brands service the European market through distribution operations within the EU, this means that typically products will arrive in the UK from the bloc – adding on not just administrative burdens but also costs for distributors and retailers here.

Those additional costs have had a crippling effect on the UK’s cycling distributors, with FLi the latest in a growing line of distribution companies to cease trading this year alone.

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