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London-based retailer says "strong demand for cycling is persisting” and is "pretty positive about 2014"...

Evans Cycles says it is reaping the reward of investing to grow the business after it revealed that pre-tax profit had risen almost nine-fold to reach £2.3 million in the year to November 2013, against £269,000 a year earlier.

Turnover rose by 8.7 per cent during the period to reach £114 million, reports Retail Week, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 47 per cent to £5.9 million.

The year saw the launch of the Hoy range of bikes from six-time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, available exclusively through the retailer.

Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “It was a good year. I always said we were investing for growth.”

During the period, the company opened three new stores and closed one existing outlet, to bring its chain to 47 branches, and Wilkinson says he is keen to continue its expansion beyond London, with plans to open six stores a year.

“Half of our stores are within the M25 and we want to be in all the big cities,” he said. “We think there is good scope to open more shops but we don’t want to have too many.”

He also highlighted growing online sales, including click-and-collect purchases where goods are ordered on the internet and picked up in-store, plus growth in mobile orders.

Wilkinson added that “strong demand for cycling is persisting” and that the company is “pretty positive about 2014.”

According to Evans’ website, Wilkinson spent four years running a chain of DIY stores in the Netherlands before joining the London based retailer in 2011.

It says that gave him first hand experience of the “positive impact cycling can have on individuals and communities.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

10 comments

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balmybaldwin [157 posts] 2 years ago
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Shame they didnt invest in customer service. If you are selling £4k bikes, then you should also have a range of loan bikes for the occasion when they need a warranty repair.

In the 18months ive had my bike, its spent 2 of those months waiting for warranty repairs.

Fortunateky my lbs have helped me out a few times, so Iknow where all my money is going from now on

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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Evans new business model.

Customer goes into the shop.... " have you got (insert just about anything)

Evans; "im not sure, let me look.....erm, no but I can order it, it will be here in a week"

Customer goes home and orders the same item from CRC and it lands the next day.  102

Ok maybe its a business model that gives them some growth, but I bet they cant sustain it, I would actually be very interested in knowing how many return customers Evans have.

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mrmo [2075 posts] 2 years ago
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had an Evans open near me recently and I really can't figure it out. Lots of bikes, little in the way of clothing, odd selection of accessories.

I don't mind ordering a bike for delivery to a store, but clothing, I want to see and feel. If I have to order it I might as well use google and see who is cheap and does returns.

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Shades [294 posts] 2 years ago
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I can never quite make my mind up about Evans. On a scale of an excellent LBS at one end and a really bad Halfords at the other, I'd put them in the middle. Saw an inexperienced person have 10min of chat with an assistant and 45min later he was going to walk out with a bike; the wrong one in my opinion. To the inexperienced, do LBSs just ask too many questions, rightly so, and appear intimidating, so they flock to the chain stores who get the benefit of their custom? Evans are open until 8pm which is pretty handy when you need something urgently.

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arfa [747 posts] 2 years ago
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Evans appear to have cornered the cycle to work market which gives them quite an advantage. Personally I think this is a ridiculously complex tax wheeze where the benefits rarely accrue to those who need it. Why not just zero rate bikes for VAT and level the playing field for LBS ?
I too have found extremely varied knowledge levels and for after service, they have a long way to go IMO.

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evo-playa [16 posts] 2 years ago
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Evans making a profit... I'm not sure how.

I walked into the Wimbledon store at 9.01AM on Saturday, walked straight to the workshop (where there were 5 guys chatting away, and one bike in a workstand) and asked for a 15 minute job. All I wanted was a mech adjustment and hanger straightened.

I was told to bring the bike in on Sunday, and they would have it done by Monday evening.  103

Went to Sigma Sport at 2pm on Sunday and the workshop did the job there an then, and there were loads of people bringing in bikes for service and fixes.

Thats customer service.

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jasecd [394 posts] 2 years ago
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Shades wrote:

I can never quite make my mind up about Evans. On a scale of an excellent LBS at one end and a really bad Halfords at the other, I'd put them in the middle.

Totally agree. I had an interesting twenty minute chat with one of their staff, who in fairness had just started, and spent the entire time asking me questions about bikes. Some of their more experienced guys seem to know their stuff though.

I guess it's a good sign that their profits are up - more people riding must account for at least some of this rise. Shame more of this money isn't going to LBS's though.

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Bexleyhillbilly [46 posts] 2 years ago
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Stores are distinctly patchy, but I have found customer service abysmal when an internet order went wrong - it took three calls and several weeks for them to sort out, without any serious apology. Unfortunately they're too big to bypass.

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crazy-legs [767 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

I walked into the Wimbledon store at 9.01AM on Saturday, walked straight to the workshop (where there were 5 guys chatting away, and one bike in a workstand) and asked for a 15 minute job. All I wanted was a mech adjustment and hanger straightened.

Based on many years work in various bike shops, jobs like that are a potential nightmare for the shop. The "can you just..." job that then turns into 2hrs of faffing, having to order a new part in, having a pissed off customer who thought it would be a 5 min job and potentially having other pissed off customers who had booked their bike in, they come to collect it and no, it's not been done cos the shop was faffing with your bike.

While it may only have been 5 minutes, it's rarely worth the hassle of finding out. Book it in like any normal customer. They need processes in place to ensure standardised service across all the staff and all the branches.

If 20 people went in every day with "can you just..." the shop would never get anything done.

And FWIW, I've always got on pretty well with the branches of Evans I've used.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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Evans are large retailer that sell bikes. Not your local shop run by a wrinkly opinionated old boy or a boutique store with beards and fancy coffee. Treat them as such and you probably won't be disappointed.