An Instagram account
from massive UK retailer Evans Cycles has been taken over by a group of employees who are unhappy with the direction the company has taken since it was taken over by Sports Direct.
The account, which used to belong to the retailer's Gatwick store, has been rebranded as 'Make Evans Great Again' and now posts pictures of green caps with the slogan modified from Trump's 2016 election campaign.404 [instagram page not found] https://instagr.am/p/B6sqEUlFylk&maxwidth=1000&hidecaption=1
The first post from the account, which was uploaded on December 30, said: "Even though our buying department is full of incompetent and inexperienced people, our stores across the country are filled with knowledge and have a huge passion for cycling. Low end brands like Viking Bikes and Schwinn Bikes cheapen our image as a company. We know there is a market for lower priced bikes more than anyone but when the bike continues to fail straight from the box it’s time to rethink our buying tactics (or buyers)." The account is anonymous but it was signed off by an "Area Manager".
Evans Cycles, which was founded in 1921 in Kennington, London, has been through a turbulent few years after it put itself up for sale in September 2018. It was bought in October of that year by controversial businessman Mike Ashley. He saved the company from administration but Ashley claimed that up to half of the 62 Evans stores could close and hundreds of staff jobs were put at risk. To date, only 11 have closed however it seems that there are other problems for the owner of the hijacked Instagram account.
In other posts, they complain about the company's communication, structure, targets, spending and that the upper management are, "old men who know nothing and will destroy the company and move onto the next." It seems that they are still in control of the account and are posting stories that are claimed to be from other upset employees from Evans.Road.cc
interviewed the people behind the account and they claimed that the problems started before the Sports Direct takeover and that the account is a protest so that their voices will be heard.404 [instagram page not found] https://instagr.am/p/B6768SsFnhk&maxwidth=1000
Evans say they believe an employee is acting alone and their legal team is now trying to regain control of the account. They also confirmed they have an internal process for employee complaints.
A spokesperson said: "We are aware of the Instagram account in question as it was a store account that was accessed without permission and re-purposed by a former employee, who we believe is acting alone in this campaign.
“It's now with our legal team and Instagram as we aim to restore the account to its intended purpose. We have internal processes for colleagues to raise their concerns with us directly.”