here's the thing about the bike industry in the UK:
the mass market for BSO is dominated by Halfords (356 stores)
the quality market for entry level and above is dominated by Evans (50 stores) and Cycle Surgery (29 stores)
then its Cycles UK (14 stores),Leisure Lakes (7 stores), etc.
then you have small operators like Tredz (2 stores) and many other small chains or the LBS which are independant operators
a huge problem for the bike industry in the UK is the growth of internet retailers which has decimated bricks and mortar retail, rising operating costs from landlords/business rates/utilities and cycle / parts suppliers like Madison, Fisher, Raleigh (who are being undercut by the "brands" they distribute, these brands are more than happy selling grey stock into the on-line resale market i.e. CRC, Wiggle, Merlin)
all of which means reduced margins as consumers demands price discounting and increased value for money. Price gouging is becoming a real problem in the industry
as some have mentioned; facing these rising fixed costs, the only controllable cost is staffing, and its the easiest cost to slash, but ignore the long term impact on your business!
without good staff, you have no business! As the bike industry has grown in recent years with the boom in cycling, some people have gained serious wealth through smart business acumen, but have certainly not taken their staff with them.
The old saying goes, "Don't worry about the people leaving (because they are so employable that other employers snap them up) but worry about those staying behind" (because they are not employable...) you end up with lots of dead wood in your company
if you don't pay your staff a living wage, offer a good contract of employment, or professional career training, why are you surprised when they leave?
It's a real problem in the bike industry because experienced staff are very short in supply; cycle retailing is not the same as the rag trade (Top Shop), stacking shelves at Tesco or selling I-Pads at PC World
cycle retailing is a complex beast, and it takes years for an employee to know what they are actually talking about to give a customer confidence in the interaction, especially for senior sales staff and mechanics
I have interviewed mechanics with Cytech II who could not even build a Specialized Allez road bike out of a box, tells you everything really?
When consumers are empowered by the huge wealth of information on the internet, and new business are being launched like mobile mechanics and indepandant bike fitters, etc.
suddenly the traditional bricks and mortar business is in a serious struggle to survive, let alone actually survive and grow.
Using traditional trade suppliers to place an item under your counter, when your customer (or your own staff) can buy it on-line for 20% less than your trade pricing, cannot mean anything less than the slow death of a business, unless it is smart enough to evolve and survive
read this: BBC One in Five shops to close by 2018