Administrators have started the sales process for Wiggle Chain Reaction, two weeks since the beleaguered online retailer for bicycles and equipment entered administration, with officials hopeful that the company will quickly find potential suitors as news of sister company Hotlines Europe entering administration also broke.
WiggleCRC, owned by Berlin-based Signa Sports United (SSU), has had its head against the wall since last month ever since its parent company announced the delisting of shares at the New York Stock Exchange amidst "severe liquidity and profitability challenges".
Now, the administrators of WiggleCRC have formally launched a sales process for the online sports retail group. And in what should come as a rare ray of sunlight for the company's prospects, they have already received considerable interest to take the business forward.
Alastair Massey, Joint Administrator of Wiggle CRC, told road.cc: "We've officially launched our sales process for WiggleCRC. This is one of the market’s best-known stable of brands and has solid fundamentals and further growth potential. In the few weeks we’ve been in office, we’ve seen strong trading continue thanks to a loyal and extensive customer base.
"This is why there has been considerable interest already in the business and we expect the sale process to gather pace rapidly. Any remaining potential buyers should come forward now and express their interest."
The administrators added that the business and its brands remain fully operational and continue to trade. Orders placed online continue to be delivered as usual, as well as online returns in line with the Terms and Conditions, with all warranties remaining in place.
Meanwhile, in what has been not the most unexpected stroke of events, Hotlines Europe, also owned by Wiggle's parent company SSU, has entered administration.
The Scottish bike distributor, already battling financial difficulties during an extended period of time which has proved to be as tumultuous as concerning for many bike brands, was finally forced to bite the bullet when Signa Holding withdrew its unconditional €150 million equity commitment to Signa Sports last month.
With Hotlines entering administration, it becomes the second Scottish bike brand to do so in the space of six months, following 2pure.
It was announced earlier this year that the Livingston-based company was restructuring to focus solely on the cycling industry, following what 2pure described as a “highly volatile” 2022 caused by macro-economic events in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Despite adding eco-cleaning products company Kingud and tubeless tyre sealant manufacturer MilKit to its portfolio in recent months, dark clouds continued to hang over the company, with managing director George Bowie leaving his position earlier this month
The uncertainty over Wiggle's future, meanwhile, looms large as one of the mainstays of British cyclists' shopping bug hopes to find buyers and more importantly, win over the lost customers who haven't been the most pleased with the site's recent cosmetic and practical changes.
Yesterday, it was announced that bike shops like Halfords and Tredz would provide support for Wiggle customers, with Halfords pledging to honour warranties on parts and accessories.
Halfords chief executive Graham Stapleton said that his company has a "responsibility to support the whole market" and that where possible customers who bought parts and accessories with Wiggle Chain Reaction would have their warranties honoured.
Tredz has also followed suit, saying that it will offer Wiggle+ customers a voucher worth £15 to cover the £15 fee for Wiggle's premium service that offers unlimited, free next-day delivery and returns.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.