Living in France, it’s often cheaper for me to buy Michelin tyres and TA chainrings… from Britain. Why? Well there are some very efficient online retailers in the UK like Wiggle and Chainreaction, like any big online retailer they offer low prices because of their volume and low overheads, no high town centre rental for example. Both of these sellers have taken to advertising in Vélo Magazine in a bid to attract French customers. There are retailers in Germany too, like Roseversand and Bobshop doing the same but the weak Pound currently tips the balance in favour of the British retailers.
Wiggle for sale?
One thing to note is an interview with the boss of Wiggle, Humprhey Cobbold. It’s worth a read if you’re interested in the trade side of the business yet one thing that stood out is that the interview is with Britain’s Guardian newspaper. Why? Well it might be interesting to readers but in my experience, these things happen for a reason, PR people fix the interviews for a purpose. My guess is that Wiggle’s owners are preparing to sell the company, either to another private equity house, or more likely, to float the business on the London Stock Exchange, presumably in the junior AIM market. Just speculating.