Wiggle and CRC to Close International Web Shops as Sales Process 'Gathers Pace'

Dec 1, 2023 at 3:29
by Jessie-May Morgan  
photo

WiggleCRC has issued a statement announcing that its international e-commerce platforms will shut down "in the coming weeks". The news follows the termination of a 150 million euro equity commitment from an affiliate of parent company, Signa Sports United (SSU), an event that led to Wiggle entering administration on October 25th.

Brexit and rising international air freight costs are cited as some of the economic factors that have led administrators to pull back from international markets - markets that make up only 15% of the business' revenue. A timeline is yet to be specified for the closure of the international Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles web shops, but we are told that outstanding sales, returns and warranty obligations will be fulfilled.

In more hopeful news, the statement does allude to a possible impending sale of the business. We have reached out for more information on this, but the WiggleCRC administrators have, understandably, declined to divulge specifics. The complete statement from WiggleCRC can be found below.

bigquotesThe Joint Administrators of WiggleCRC are directing a shift in the group’s business model which will see it focus its efforts solely on the UK market. The announcement comes as a process to sell the business gathers pace amidst ongoing talks with multiple parties.

Alastair Massey and Tony Wright of specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed to Mapil Midco 1 Limited and Wiggle Limited on 24 October 2023. Insolvency practitioners from FRP have also been appointed as Joint Administrators to Chain Reaction Cycles Limited, Chain Reaction Cycles Retail Limited and Hotlines Europe Limited.

To ensure that WiggleCRC is in the best possible position to build on its core strengths and market leading position, the decision has been taken to pivot the business model to solely focus on the UK domestic market which currently accounts for 85% of the group’s revenues. The international Wiggle and Chain Reaction web shops will therefore be closed over the coming weeks.

This part of the business has been impacted by a range of economic factors including rising international air freight costs and Brexit. The business is committed to honoring all outstanding sales, returns and warranty obligations for international customers through the usual processes.

Tony Wright, Partner at FRP and Joint Administrator of WiggleCRC, said: “The UK market is core to WiggleCRC’s proposition where it remains the market leader and is a powerful driver for the business’ profitability and current trading performance. This has been incredibly attractive to interested parties and we are progressing swiftly with the sale process.”
WiggleCRC


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Member since Oct 26, 2023
40 articles

132 Comments
  • 181 1
 Dear bike investors, please buy Nukeproof and make it into the proper international brand it deserves.
  • 47 3
 Also bike investors: please use semi decent paint on the bikes so it doesn’t get worn off on the first ride
  • 43 5
 Better no investor. Better a rich guy which just saves the company without wanting any money in the future from it. Otherwise the same thing will happen again.
  • 5 0
 You know that odds are it would just get turned into a big pile of turds if that happens right? That's what always happens and it sucks.
  • 6 0
 Vitus too, most likely
  • 18 1
 @Sluni: You want a rich person, who probably got rich by investing in stuff to get rich, to just change their modus operandi? You want them to invest money and not expect a return?
  • 3 4
 @j1sisslow: capitalism 001…
  • 14 1
 And Ragley. Please save Ragley. I love my Big Wig.
  • 6 26
flag sofarider1 (Dec 1, 2023 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Sluni: Tesla Bicycles. Has a good ring to it.
  • 6 0
 @j1sisslow: Exactly. This is how the markets balance themselves. When you have investors backing a company that out competes the competition by selling at landed cost, no money is to be made for the invested. We as consumers all want “sweet deals” but you can’t by tires or complete bicycles for that matter at wholesale and expect your retailer to stay in business. This is exactly why I walked away from shop ownership and now it’s a battle between the online retailers themselves.
  • 22 0
 @wobblegoblin: Also bike investors: Do not route cables through the headset.
  • 4 0
 @HardtailHerold: Haha, rule number 1: know your customer.
  • 1 0
 What's happening to strait? Has he gone anywhere yet?
  • 1 0
 @matadorCE: Presumably* if you buy Nukeproof you get the Vitus IP too

*Hopefully
  • 4 1
 @Sluni: Rich guys that don't want any more money don't exist
  • 2 1
 @Sluni: Rich guys don’t get to be rich guys by investing money without expecting a return.
  • 8 10
 @sofarider1: He wouldn’t be interested as bicycles aren’t a good way to spread antisemitism or bust unions.
  • 1 0
 And Vitus, especially with them sponsoring Kyle strait
  • 1 0
 Im saving my christmas money still the rate nukeproof sales prices are coming down i will buy it for a fiver
  • 1 0
 @wobblegoblin: alternative viewpoint this is why they colluded with invisiframe
  • 1 0
 @Bosschap1836r: Still looking... heart still set on Vitus though.
  • 1 0
 @matadorCE: Absolutely agree on Vitus, they deserve to stick around. They make a good bike, aren't overpriced garbage, they seem to be pretty in-tune with riders, and they've been making bikes for a long time!
  • 86 2
 I know people have their opinions on em, but as a US consumer I've personally had nothing but good experiences shopping at CRC. I've gotten plenty of good deals, cheap but quality parts, and even my dj frame from em. Have also always been impressed with shipping speed across the pond too. Shame to see em go.
  • 27 0
 Had a small crack in the ISCG tab of my Giga. Emailed CRC, DHL came to pick it up, and had a completely new frame sitting on my doorstep in 2 weeks. Better warranty experience than any bike shop brand I’ve dealt with.
  • 9 1
 I love to support my local bike shop, but I was able to get minion's delivered to my door in Canada for $60 each. Hard to say no to, but looks like my shop is getting more of my money (I don't mind, they are rad and deserve it but I also enjoy saving a ton of money).
  • 4 2
 @succulentsausage: I had the complete opposite experience, carbon reactor frame was less than a year old , paint cracker and delaminated from the frame badly ,I submitted the warranty claim to hotlines the day I found the issue ,they didn’t reply to my emails for over a month , it took 2 months to get a new frame, worst customer experience I’ve ever had , waited so long I bought another frame brand instead just so I could ride , they didn’t care at all , as soon as the new frame arrived I sold it immediately , hotlines are truly awful to deal with , an it wasn’t the first time !
  • 2 0
 @tvan5: That's cheaper than what the shop pays at cost
  • 2 0
 @swenzowski: Yeah CRC was pretty wild for a few years there, I believe they stopped selling shimano and 5.10 shoes because bike shops couldn't compete. Bike shops could make more money buying from CRC then reselling at that point. But again, I'm more than happy to support my LBS. They kick ass, do a lot for me and the community.
  • 1 0
 Agreed! I've purchased bikes and frames and they arrived to my door in less that 7-8 days to the west coast US! And they were in excellent condition.
  • 7 0
 @tvan5: CRC was only able to sell shimano at such a big discount because they were buying OEM packages and breaching the contract by selling them as parts, vs kitting bikes with them
  • 1 0
 Agree! I had a couple of BrandX Dropper posts, and any time I had an issue, they mailed me another!
  • 29 0
 This process started around April when they went to their new craptastic website.
  • 21 0
 the price sort feature didnt work for the longest time- bad for cheap asses like me
  • 20 0
 Someone should teach the CRC wiggle website as an example of what not to do in 2023 web design class
  • 15 0
 @mior: I’m a cheap ass too. Incorrect price sorting seems to plague the entire bike industry. Another pet peeve is filtering rarely works. If I sort by size (clothing, tires, etc) it still pulls up results that are out of stock in the size I need or the wrong price is listed. First page says a jersey is $14.99…but after 5 clicks you discover that’s only for the XXXS jersey. Large is still full price or completely out of stock.
  • 10 0
 @mior: Doesnt work on Pinkbike Buy/Sell either Wink also the whole "boosted" thing really ruined it.
  • 5 0
 Yep, the clues were there alright. I've been designing/building websites for 15 years and if I were to put forward an example of how NOT to update a company/e-comm website, CRC.com would be it! (closely followed, and very closely, by Kona's current cheap-ass shopify effort)
  • 4 0
 @mior: And they simply deleted the "sort by discount" option
  • 3 0
 They also stopped supporting different currencies, which is when I stopped using them. Being in NZ I could only buy in Aussie dollars. It’s like saying to Canadians you have to buy stuff in US dollars
  • 2 0
 @enduroNZ: Brobike in Queenstown NZ has them in stock and can order anything in Smile
  • 24 4
 Fucking brexit, what a bloody stupid idea
  • 15 1
 CRC was awesome before it was sold to Wiggle , then they mostly went to crap I rarely used CRC once they stopped selling SRam and Shimano though. They had good deals on tires, Spank and WTB stuff and always had lots of Hope inventory. Now, they never seem to have anything in stock and their shipping is horrible. Good riddance CRC
  • 1 0
 Likewise, remember when CRC was based in Northern Ireland, you could order from them early in the day and have it delivered to your door in the Republic of Ireland by the next day. Then along came the Wriggle takeover and service nosedived and I think they consolidated their warehouses and they always seem to be short on stock. Cannot imagine Brexit has done them any favours.
  • 12 0
 FYI: I broke my 21’ Nukeproof Mega AL 3 weeks ago and Chainreaction Warranty sent me a new upper stay right away. So hopefully they’ll continue to support previous international customers well in the future.
  • 8 4
 It broke a Mega chain stay and they had me ship the entire bike back and it was a month before I got it back again. They also didn’t install spacers on the fox roller bearing when they reassembled it which led to my swing link getting bent and the roller bearing housing getting mangled. All I asked was that they send me a new roller bearing assembly ($30) and I’d take care of bending the swing link back to straight.

They denied it was their fault and that I must have sent it in with the spacers missing and wouldn’t budge.

Needless to say it put me off buying a bike from them ever again, and I’d spent a solid $10,000+ on multiple bikes and parts from them over the years. And here I am posting publicly about it for others to see. All over a part that probably costs them $20.
  • 13 0
 There are lots of good people associated with the Signa Brands. I hope they get it all sorted soon so they can continue to make rad bikes. Big love to my Nukeproof friends.
  • 9 1
 Here in the US, you and the rest of the Nukeproof team were caught in a perfect trifecta of crap:

The long-standing and on-going tradition in which "passion based" industries such as anything outdoorsy, anything to do with horses, etc. are able to exploit people's passion not just for good (making/selling/promoting rad stuff to improve people's lives) but also for not-so-good (getting people to commit immense effort and compromise on compensation, work-life balance, and really every aspect of the employee or contractor experience to be able to work at the thing that lights them up).

The maddening ability for big investors and private equity to find ever more elaborate ways to f*ck up good things while simultaneously still making really good money by doing so. This has been going on for a very long time in the economy as a whole; think leveraged buy outs that leave empty husks for formerly proud companies, devastated factory towns, subprime and other rapacious finance businesses causing serious economic disruption not just for individuals but for economies as a whole, and yet with all that miraculously ever-more-lucrative returns on investment for the corporate raiders. The outdoor and bike booms of the last few years, along with an industry full of smallish companies (some of them run by founders ready to retire) has painted a very large and irresistible target on that sector's back. Not just bikes - think of all the outdoor brands that went through buyouts and mergers in the last few years. Lots of those are total trainwrecks (and had serious ripple effects in the communities they grew from and that had nurtured those companies in the first place).

And lastly, specific to the US, labor law that lacks the kinds of protection you'd have in other places. In Germany, for example, employees are taken care of before non-secured creditors, and even secured creditors (mortgage holders, suppliers with liens on inventory) might take a haircut because a bankruptcy court would first evaluate the social plan of how to protect employees. The whole concept of at-will employment is pretty uniquely American - and I'd argue has a serious cost both in human and economic terms.

Sorry you and your friends got caught up in that perfect (shit)storm. I hope you all find rewarding and economically sustainable ways to apply your talents, skills and experience!
  • 12 0
 You going to make a post about Blackspire closing down & liquidating too?
  • 8 1
 Now, that is sad.
  • 5 0
 @TheLions: Indeed. Not been formally announced yet from what I can see, but I was certainly told about it, their website closed shortly after, and their stuff has been liquidated and is at auction.

Huge shame.

Surprised PB haven't mentioned it, especially given they were told about it, and they are a relatively local home grown Canadian company.
  • 1 0
 Cyclorise too
  • 1 0
 I had no idea! Poopy :-(
  • 1 0
 NOOOOO I love thier snaggle tooth chainrings:'(
  • 6 0
 Can someone explain to me...I was going to order a Ragley frame from CRC. Freight for a FRAME was $259 to US. About $40 more than the frame.
I when to a competitor to check, and they were charging about 20% of that to ship a similar frame from the UK to US.
  • 2 1
 If you ID a freight forwarder that ships to the USA in the UK you could probably get it done cheaper. CRC's price might be with customs and finding a middleman for export. CRC's price seems right, the other price seems like it's missing the forwarder.
  • 3 0
 I was eyeing up the same frame, until I checked shipping. Seems a little unrealistic imho
  • 2 0
 I had something similar happen. Try to add a small part to the order (water bottle, headset, etc.) then I believe it changes the classification around shipping. Or, if that's what you have already, split it into two orders - one for the frame only, and the other for small parts. I can't recall which works better for the pocketbook.

With a bike frame, shipping still isn't cheap - but should not out-pace the frame price.
  • 5 2
 @mojojonah: how much do you think it should cost?

I bet to ship it uk would be £30-50, then the plane to the us and then the shipping in the us, doesn’t seem to unreasonable
  • 1 1
 HUZZAH!!!!
  • 2 0
 I ordered a ragley frame during peak covid in 2020 and shipping was $45.99. I wonder what happened
  • 6 2
 Post-Brexit getting anything shipped out of the UK is crazy expensive... I've basically stopped doing mail order from Britain.
  • 1 0
 CRC used to give you the option to to price shipping all-in with duty and taxes or do that yourself, which caused me nothing but trouble. Now everything is sent with all duty & taxes prepaid, which makes the shipping look a lot more expensive.
  • 3 0
 Since CRC's website redesign, all international freight is now "express" and includes all import brokerage, duties, and local sales tax. So it is a full "to your door" price.

They don't do a good enough job of informing the international customer that this is why their shipping prices have appeared to have sky-rocketed over the last few months.

However...I always choose the cheapest shipping method. I find more often than not, my local customs office doesn't charge any of those fees. So I make out like a bandit. With CRC's revised shipping to include it all up front, I am guaranteed to have to pay it...making the "deal" not as hot as it used to be. I was probably taxed on 1 out of every 10 shipments from CRC in the past. Now I pay duties, tax and express shipping cost on 10 out of 10 (but I haven't placed a single order since the horrible website redesign and shipping price increases)
  • 1 0
 Agreed - even small kids bikes (balance bikes and 16" wheels) were hundreds to ship. They must have been dropping them off fully assembled at the UPS store and saying "Pack and Ship This" to need that much for shipping
  • 2 0
 @korev: Sounds like a Trade Federation Blockade! Send some Jedi to negotiate!
  • 2 1
 Merlin are much better fyi they don’t always have the most stock but will sell you shimano and sram parts where ever you are in the world and have awesome deals and shipping is less expensive
  • 10 1
 Where's the advent calendar comp?
  • 4 0
 I’m guessing it isn’t happening due to industry wide budget cuts.
  • 2 0
 @Austink: An editor has now confirmed it's not running.
  • 5 1
 HOW many people know this?

As regards Brexit...... Northern Ireland where CRC originated STILL has the same pre-Brexit arrangements within the EU.

We, Helmetor have suffered because of Brexit because most of the world don't seem to be aware of this even though we can ship international with out any of the extra costs killing mainland UK brands.

If CRC had kept their operation in N Ireland, things would be different.
  • 4 0
 You mean if Wiggle had left CRC's operations alone and kept it in N Ireland Wink No one at CRC wanted to move things to Wolverhampton. Cheaper labour in NI too.
  • 2 0
 That's sad. You guys in NI have some post-Brexit advantages over people in Great Britain though, anyone would think the government don't want people to realise!
  • 3 0
 Ordered some new wheels before the news broke they were in trouble, still dont have my wheels despite paying extra for express shipping. Also doesnt help my case they have used Aramax as the courier, one with a very lax attitude towards getting deliveries out on time. I know my wheels have arrived in Australia, they have been here for 3 almost 4 weeks now, but they also sat in Dubai for almost a month before being sent here!
  • 12 6
 Where is that Nigel fella that defended Brexit?
  • 11 0
 On the telly (celebrity get me out of here)…ffs
  • 3 0
 In the Australian rainforest eating bugs!
  • 9 0
 Sadly, he isn't doing that forever.
  • 7 18
flag Sluni (Dec 1, 2023 at 9:49) (Below Threshold)
 What has Brexit to do with a investor, which only want's to take all money out and then shut down the company? A, nothing.
  • 10 1
 @Sluni: It's made shipping really expensive and EU customers now have to suffer customs charges and delays
  • 4 1
 @Sluni: is that what you think happened here? Look at the account’s, CRC’s owner hasn’t took shit worth taking for a billion euro company.

Brexit, Covid and some poor web / other choices killed CRC as they will kill other business in the near future too.
  • 10 1
 @Eland: If the producers of that crap had a shred of decency they would've arranged an "accident" with some salt water crocs by now.
  • 3 1
 My vitus mythique bike purchase went bad when a top swingarm link bolt broke and bent the swingarm link itself. Sent them pictures but instead of sending a new link, they wanted me to pay to ship the bike to them in uk with no explicit guarantee of what they were going to do or how long it would take. Terrible customer service so I bought never buy a bike from them again. Their website also went to heck, so couldn't buy small stuff either. They did it to themselves. Good riddence.
  • 2 0
 Wow, I think there's gonna be a lot of UK comapies from many industries winding it in to survive the next coming shit storm......... SOO many issues to place blame here but, I'm currently a QA engineer in an alu foundry... 17 years of tensile strength testing and spectral analisys of alloys, I wear a white coat, run my own lab..... an I'm looking to stock shelves in a supermarket.. to earn MORE money........ The UK is being horredously mismanaged
  • 3 0
 CRC is the only place I can get frame spares for the bike I bought from CRC. This is going to suck. I'd stock up, but they're sold out...
  • 2 0
 There is a Nukeproof importer in Australia. They may still have stock. Can’t remember who but a quick google will tell you.
  • 3 0
 Off The Brakes in QLD is the Aussie Nukeproof dealer, Not sure if this will affect them in any way though.
  • 7 2
 RIP to a real one
  • 2 0
 I got my Nukeproof Scout in August from the U.S. site. Love the bike, fingers crossed and all that good stuff hoping they stick around and re-enter the international market.
  • 2 0
 Bummer, they had some great prices now and then. How are we going to get Nukeproof components outside of Europe?
  • 1 2
 If they are aren’t bought out nobody is going to be getting nukeproof, if they are bought out it’s the new owners call as to if they supply outside of the UK again.

I’m not optimistic Nukeproof in its current guise will survive to be honest.
  • 4 1
 Brexit ooooooh brexit, brexi, brexit, breeeeexit.
  • 4 13
flag ompete (Dec 1, 2023 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 OK, Germany is in recession, we're not!
  • 5 1
 @ompete: LOL. What??
  • 5 5
 @mybaben: Do you're research, Germany relies on manufacturing and has had 2 negative quarters months ago ( recession) UK relies on services and isn't in recession, we're also trading more with the EU than before Brexit, with Germany asking for a better trading deal with the 6th richest economy in the world
  • 4 4
 @ompete: Um, mate you better do your own research! You're about 2mm from one.

UK Is Likely in Recession Right Now, Bloomberg Analysis Shows
Modeling shows 52% chance of a mild recession in second half
Risks growing of sharper decline than previously projected.

and
www.theguardian.com/business/2023/nov/29/central-banks-risk-tipping-uk-and-other-developed-countries-into-recession
  • 2 0
 Dang, just ordered a Mega Carbon 290 from there, at least the purchase will be honored.
  • 5 2
 Hell yeah. The environment and real bike shops will be happy.
  • 1 2
 Oshit, then I have to buy a set of bearings for my Mega 290C while it's still available and will ship out of the UK.
No point and then what? Should I overpay or not buy such parts?
  • 5 0
 If you know the size of the bearings then you should be able to order from anywhere. Having said that I did proactively order an extra derailleur hanger for my reactor a few weeks ago just in case something like this happened.
  • 12 1
 There is nothing special about the bearings from CRC/Wiggle. Just buy them online more locally and you will probably get them cheaper.
  • 1 3
 @Ghaytnd : Unfortunately it is not so easy with bearings for the Nukeproof Mega. Both old and new have 4 bearings with flanges inside and outside. Unfortunately, in a country like Poland such bearings are practically not available even in specialist shops. And at the dealer a set is 2x more expensive than at a wiggle shop with shipping
  • 3 0
 Maybe worth trying kinetic bearings in the UK they do kits for the mega and I'm sure they ship to the EU. I've had all my bikes bearings from them for years and they are excellent kits. Infact I'm sure they shipped some to NZ for another mega owner.
  • 1 0
 @jimyg:
Oo good to know! I'll have to have a look at their website. Thanks a lot!
  • 2 0
 What will happen to Nukeproof?
  • 4 0
 Going into meltdown.
  • 3 0
 Most likely Chernobyl
  • 1 0
 About to take a serious digger.
  • 5 0
 When this news first broke I went on CRC, and ordered all the spares (hanger, bolts, cable ports etc.)I could think of for my Dissent, came fast and complete, man I hope the Nukeproof brand survives, they’re really good bikes.
  • 2 0
 This explains why nukeproof has not responded to my email...
  • 1 0
 I received a prompt reply (within 12 hours) just 4 days ago...
  • 4 2
 Is anyone else just hoping the advent calendar giveaway still shows up?
  • 1 0
 anything worth buying or is all the good stuff already out of stock?
  • 4 0
 I've been eyeing up a Vitus Mythique since the black Friday discount started a few weeks ago. Still on discount in most sizes

Also discovered the eBay account they use to sell off returns, display items etc. There's some great deals there: TriSportsResort
  • 8 8
 How is that Brexit going?
  • 11 1
 Pretty shit really, but it could be worse, we could be faced with a choice between Trump and Biden.
  • 8 4
 @commental: You sure it could be worse? Based on the last couple of prime ministers and now having to sing "God Bless The Tampon" I'd say we're on the same boat.
  • 5 2
 @matadorCE: I don't have to sing anything and those prime ministers are in the past, not the future. Things here are less than ideal, but I still thank my lucky stars I'm this side of the pond. Thanks for your concern though, it's really appreciated.
  • 3 1
 @commental: You do you. I happen to believe we're all eating a shit sandwich, it just the ingredients are different but it's still shit at the end of the day.
  • 3 4
 @matadorCE: Haha, I will do me thanks. Why did you ask the initial question if you didn't want to get a reaction? It seems odd to me that you took issue when you got a reaction, but hey, no worries.
  • 2 0
 @commental: It won't be Biden. He's being replaced. The ruling class just hasn't totally decided with who yet.
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