Wiggle and CRC merge – it’s official

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We’ve just had a press release come in which confirms what we’ve long suspected – Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle are to merge. The whole shebang is “subject o a number of regulatory approvals, including merger control clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).”


The release goes on to talk about ‘broader offering’ and ‘stronger platform’ – although it’s hard to imagine a stronger platform that the rafts the two companies were standing on – unless, we suppose, you stitch the rafts together… revenues will be in excess of £300m, which isn’t chump change which ever way you look at it.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles announce today that they are to merge to further strengthen their position in the global online retailing world of cycling, running, swimming and triathlon (tri-sports) products and accessories. The transaction is subject to a number of regulatory approvals, including merger control clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Together the combined business will be able to supply a broader offering and a stronger platform with which to attract new brands and compete in the wider cycling and accessories market. Financially, the combined business will have revenues in excess of £300m.

Stefan Barden, Chief Executive Officer of Wiggle, said:

“In the global online retailing market in which we operate, there is a compelling industrial logic for our two businesses to come together to become a stronger force. We have long respected Chain Reaction Cycles as a business and share its values and commitment to delivering the best possible price and first class service for its customers. Like us they have a deep seated love of cycling. The combined business will offer all customers an extended range of brands and products, with Wiggle’s strength in tri-sports and road cycling complemented by Chain Reaction Cycles’ strength in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling too. The deal propels Wiggle faster towards its objective of building a global online champion and a major British export success story.”

Chris Watson, Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles, said:

“This is an exciting new chapter for the Chain Reaction Cycles brand. Since the business started in 1984, we’ve grown strongly from our mountain bike origins in Northern Ireland to meet the needs of more MTB, BMX and road cyclists across more countries. Coming together with Wiggle is a great way to continue that growth, as a global force in cycling and a leader in technology, eCommerce and innovation.”

We’ve reached out to ascertain what might happen to other CRC-linked companies.


Comments (11)

    Finally, perhaps now Endura products may get offered in sales with more than 5% discount as they wont want to stop supplying what would be the biggest outlet……

    One of the appeals of Endura is (or was in my day) that they’d buy back old stock so you didn’t have to discount to clear it.

    C’mon guys, don’t you start with the “reaching out” 🙁 Surely that’s on your banned phrases board?

    Sorry Timmys, that’ll be Marc B. reaching out. He’s American and they reach out. Probably one reason we don’t have him working in the office. 🙂

    I can’t see this as a good thing for the consumer. For years, Wiggle and CRC have been the only two online retailers worth considering, as all the others have too limited a stock, high prices, or poor service.

    This merger will inevitably lead to higher prices, and most likely worse service. The Competition and Markets Authority should block it.

    Thanks Chipps – Singletrack is northern England, not northern California!!

    Actually, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m just touching base to say that the actualisation of the ‘reaching out’ concept was me, and not Marc.

    Just running that up the flagpole to see if anyone pours mayonnaise on it

    Both Wiggle and CRC are more expensive outside their own brands/discontinued product compared to the likes of Merlin on anything I have purchased in the last couple of years and on first look it wouldn’t bother me if they merged if they just continued a web sales model.
    The more interesting dynamic for the whole industry is regarding the distributors owned by CRC (and I would suspect the real reason Wiggle want CRC) because it will give Wiggle a number of MTB brands, that at the very least Wiggle would follow the CRC model and discount the hell out of last years model to clear it out overstocks and create the impression that great discounts are available.
    More likely Wiggle would cherry pick the cream of the lines for exclusivity, giving the suppliers the sop that they will be available to a larger customer base and therefore in both their best interests

    A less competitive market place means higher prices for us the consumers, I cannot see any positives from this other than the huge choice of product and brand.

    finding shops like Tredz Merlin and believe it or not Evans cheaper than CRC bad for consumers this and Royal Mail as no doubt wiggle will chose Yodel as the main carrier!

    They still have to compete wiz ze chermans, oder?

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