Online cycle retailer, Wiggle, has reported a 19 per cent rise in sales from £141m to £168m for the year ending 2nd February 2014. With Chain Reaction recently reporting a six per cent drop to £144.9m in the 12 months to 31 December 2013, Wiggle is now claiming to be the biggest in its market.
There were signs of Wiggle’s expansion recently with the news that the firm had signed a lease on a 323,000 square foot unit at a logistics facility at Bilston near Wolverhampton. Stefan Barden, CEO of Wiggle, alluded to this when commenting on the latest news:
“The underlying performance of the business in the year has been strong, with fast growth in Europe and clear evidence of further market share gains in the UK. The product offering continued to evolve, with further enhancements made to consolidate the company’s leading customer service proposition.
“The momentum has continued into the current financial year with major projects underway to not only drive profitable growth but also provide the capacity and infrastructure to support and manage it. We remain passionate about our business and confident in our ability to deliver the long term growth strategy.”
The strongest performance was seen in the UK and Europe with sales in the rest of the world being held back by the strength of the Pound.
More recently, the retailer has also established a handful of bike repair and servicing centres at business parks. Speaking at the time, Wiggle’s business development director, Stephen McAlister, said:
“We want to expand our services beyond product sales to after care and maintenance work to improve our overall offer to customers and to do this we need a physical space.”
However, it has not all been smooth roads and freewheeling for the firm in recent times. Last month we reported on allegations of plagiarism brought against it by Anna Glowinski, founder of women’s cycle clothing business Ana Nichoola. After investigating, Wiggle published a detailed response, rejecting the claims.
Wiggle officially began trading in May 1999 out of a back room of Bikes @ Butlers, a Portsmouth bike shop and national mail order service. It now sells to more than a million customers in 70 countries worldwide.