Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Wiggle Chain Reaction administrators announce 105 job cuts amid interest from potential buyers

The joint administrators, who are currently preparing the business for sale, said the “decision was not taken lightly”, in the same week Wiggle’s parent company filed for insolvency in Germany

Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles has laid off 105 members of staff this week, as the beleaguered cycling retailer’s joint administrators prepare the business for sale amid “interest from several parties”.

The decision by administrators FRP Advisory affects staff at both Wiggle and Chain Reaction, as well as distributor Hotlines, and comes in the same week the retailer’s parent company, Signa Sports United, filed for insolvency at a court in Germany.

In a statement sent to road.cc, a spokesperson for FRP Advisory said: “The Joint Administrators are proposing to launch a sale process for WiggleCRC and have already received interest from several parties.

“Regrettably, the financial position of the business means that it has been necessary to make a number of redundancies to allow the business to continue to trade in readiness of the proposed sales process. 

“In total 105 people have been made redundant, with the remaining c.500 staff retained to support the operation of the business. This decision was not taken lightly, and we will provide all affected employees with support in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.”

The spokesperson also told road.cc that 70 of the staff members made redundant this week were employed by Wiggle, while 28 were from Chain Reaction and seven from Hotlines.

In relation to the company’s sites, 55 employees based in Portsmouth have been laid off, 30 in Belfast, 13 in Wolverhampton, and seven in Edinburgh.

> Wiggle Chain Reaction put up for sale by administrators, as expert warns collapse is "just the start of big changes" across bike industry

The redundancies come as the joint administrators prepare to sell the business, having already held talks with a number of potential buyers.

One of those potential buyers, it emerged over the weekend, is Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group – the company behind Evans Cycles and ProBikeKit – who earlier this month swooped to buy the German retail chain SportScheck from Wiggle’s owners, Signa Sports United (SSU).

Yesterday, we reported that SSU has filed for insolvency at court in Bielefeld in Germany, with the retailer – which also owns Probikeshop, Bikestar, and Fahrrad.de – being appointed a provisional administrator, Christian Gerloff.

> What the hell is going on in the bike industry? Wiggle Chain Reaction turmoil discussed on the road.cc Podcast

That particular development concerning SSU’s future was to be expected, of course, following weeks dominated by a seemingly never-ending cycle of increasingly grim updates, culminating in last Friday’s announcement that Wiggle Chain Reaction had entered administration and been put up for sale amid an increasingly challenging period for its parent company.

The troubled situation for Signa Sports United became a crisis two weeks ago when the Berlin-based retailer’s own parent company, Signa Holding, withdrew a funding commitment for €150m of financing amid “severe liquidity and profitability challenges”.

That money had been promised until September 2025 to “cover the operating financial needs of SSU and to secure the ongoing concern” of the company, but its withdrawal plunged Signa Sports United and its subsidiaries into uncertainty.

SSU, unsurprisingly, branded the termination of its funding agreement “unjustified” and said it will take “appropriate legal steps”.

Wiggle Black Friday sale

> “I hope anyone who bought recently used a credit card”: Black Friday begins at Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles… but is it safe to spend with the troubled retail giant?

Speaking to road.cc on Friday, Rory Hitchens of Greenleaves Cycling agency warned that the collapse of Wiggle Chain Reaction could be “just the start of big changes that have to play out” and suggested that distributors and manufacturers doing business with the company may also struggle.

Amid the situation, Black Friday has begun early on both Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, with discounts of up to 60 percent being offered on a range of cycling gear. There have also been concerns from bike shops that, should the retailers go bankrupt, the administrators would then get rid of their stock at low prices to recoup as much money as possible, in turn flooding the market with cheap goods.

“Now that we see that an asset sale or restructuring is in process, Wiggle’s collapse is clearly a very large brick that's been thrown into the millpond,” Hitchens told road.cc.

“Which businesses in the supply chain selling to Wiggle Chain Reaction will survive or suffer the most? Such as the UK distributors selling to Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles, who has or had too many eggs in the one basket? Vendors making Wiggle-branded products such as Lifeline, or vendors making own brand bikes and components for Chain Reaction Cycles, the likes of NukeProof, Vitus, and Prime?

“The Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles collapse is just the start of big changes that have to play out,” he warned.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

2 comments

Avatar
thrawed | 3 months ago
0 likes

So if they lay everyone off what are they trying to sell? Just the name? 

Avatar
Freddy56 replied to thrawed | 3 months ago
1 like

The designers and factory laison staff got the heave-Ho as far as I was told today. Pickers and shipping still on duty. Brand managers fighting for existance

Latest Comments