Home
Jobs threat as mail-order giant looks for more Haribo storage

Online bike shop Wiggle is reported to be considering moving its warehouse facility from its home base in Portsmouth to the Midlands, as it has outgrown all the locally available storage space.

According to Claire French of the Portsmouth News, Wiggle says it is looking ouside the area as no properties on the market are large enough to meet its needs.

According to the paper, warehouse workers have been told a consultation process is underway and redundancies are possible if the firm decides to move its warehouse.

One Wiggle employee said that morale as low as warehouse staff felt it was unlikley they would have jobs this time next year. He said he was already looking for a new job, while some Wiggle staff were waiting to see what redundancy packages were offered.

Richard Boon, human resources director for Wiggle, told The News: "The exceptional growth of Wiggle has resulted in the need for more warehouse space than the current 95,000 sq ft.

"We now require warehouse space of around 300,000 sq ft to maintain our growth momentum.

"Wiggle has been unable to find suitable premises in the Portsmouth area for its needs.

"The Midlands is one of those options."

Boon added that it was unlikley any redundancies would be implemented before the summer of 2015 and Wiggle would consider relocating staff to any new site.

Local politicians concerned at the possible loss of jobs in Portsmouth have said they will try and help Wiggle find premises.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: "We are always looking at declassifying old Ministry of Defence sites and other public land across the region.

"We have a lot of office space here but spaces for storage and factory floors is at a premium."

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, also pledged to help Wiggle find a new warehouse.

He said: "Wiggle started as a bike shop in Portsmouth nearly a century ago.

"It would be a huge shame to lose them now and obviously the loss of jobs would be a heavy blow.

"The supply of warehouse space within Portsmouth itself is pretty much fixed, but there may be sites within the wider region."

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

34 comments

Avatar
Leviathan [1937 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Shoukd we buy less stuff from Wiggle so they don't have to move?

Anyone else get something of Wiggle, think, yeah thats alright, tuck into the Haribo then think, arr well I've eaten the Haribo now. Sugar trumps Buyers Regret.

Whilst this is a shame for the local staff and council it is really a business decision of an online shop, as long as they don't start location their headquarters in Luxembourg I am not fussed.

Avatar
James Warrener [1082 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I worked for a mail order company down south and this same thing happened.

There is a lot of money coming into the Midlands for Hub type operations.

You have to feel for the workers. It's a horrible feeling.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1188 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Midlands who can shift stuff from Bin A to Box B. Not to disparage the Wiggle workers, you'd prefer it didn't happen to good people but that's modern online retail for ya.

Wiggle do a good job, as do CRC. Times change, and I can't feel more than passing sadness for LBS who previously were an inefficient conduit for commodity products. The range of stuff the average cyclist can access and be riding 24hrs later is breathtaking compared to even 10 years ago - no way should we lament for the 'good old days' where it was hit/miss if your LBS had an account with the importer/distributor, and could even be arsed getting the thing in, unless you paid up front.

LBS focus on bike fit/customisation/service/emergency purchases while online retailers big & small focus on shifting stuff at low cost and fast, with an excellent returns process = Happy cyclists

Avatar
StoopidUserName [170 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Fingers crossed this is just an attempt by wiggle to get the local politicians etc to get their fingers out and help.

I find it hard to believe they can't find space somewhere. I hope they do.

Avatar
Must be Mad [510 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

no other reason for putting this story out there really

Avatar
glynr36 [637 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

Fingers crossed this is just an attempt by wiggle to get the local politicians etc to get their fingers out and help.

I find it hard to believe they can't find space somewhere. I hope they do.

It's not just space, its the rest of the infrastructure.
They don't want to be limited by moving into something that is perhaps only 10% bigger, it'll be a long term plan and they'll be looking for 50% more or something now so they don't have to up and move again.

jimmythecuckoo wrote:

I worked for a mail order company down south and this same thing happened.

There is a lot of money coming into the Midlands for Hub type operations.

You have to feel for the workers. It's a horrible feeling.

It's business though, the midlands is putting in a lot infrastructure in for distribution and it's a better location for it really.
An area needs to offer a business something to locate there really, and if you need to expand and where you are doesn't offer it, then you go to where the space/infrastructure is.

Avatar
Metjas [362 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

maybe the New Forest authority could ask around with the locals?

Avatar
Grubbythumb [61 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The trouble is that developers stopped building speculative warehousing when the economy slowed down, the supermarkets took advantage of this and built more superstores.

Just across the road from Wiggle is a huge Tesco, so the land is (was) there, but not the willingness by developers to invest.

Still, I find it hard to believe that in the area where Wiggle are, there is not enough land to put a distribution centre up.

Lots of red faces at the local authority.

Avatar
Him Up North [235 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They should consider moving to Pontefract where the Haribo UK HQ is. It's right next to the M62/M1 motorway network too. Job done!  16

Avatar
S13SFC [134 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Lots of talk about them coming to Staffordshire as there are new, huge, warehousing\distribution centres being built just outside Stafford by J14 of the M6.

Plenty of big companies have already moved in / signed deals.

Avatar
jova54 [651 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Give it a year or so and with the defence cuts there will be a whole naval dockyard going spare.  19

Problem with the south, especially south of London, is the cost of the land and the building restrictions. Putting their warehouse in the centre of the UK would make sense given the road, rail and distribution infrastructure and there'll be loads of incentives for a business the size of Wiggle to move there. Just a shame that those who have helped it to grow will be those who get left behind.

Avatar
Philbert [21 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Surely Fratton Park is an ideal space for this. It currently employs 11 second-rate footballers and few admin staff. Relocate them to the Midlands and you've got the area the size of a, errr, football pitch...

Avatar
twowheeltoys [60 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Not a bad idea, but a much better one would be to demolish the city of Southampton and build a f.big warehouse there. At least it would then be of use to the people of Portsmouth.

Avatar
glynr36 [637 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Grubbythumb wrote:

The trouble is that developers stopped building speculative warehousing when the economy slowed down, the supermarkets took advantage of this and built more superstores.

Just across the road from Wiggle is a huge Tesco, so the land is (was) there, but not the willingness by developers to invest.

Still, I find it hard to believe that in the area where Wiggle are, there is not enough land to put a distribution centre up.

Lots of red faces at the local authority.

I suspect they want a ready built facility to move into, not build one of their own.

Avatar
J90 [325 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

 103

Airzound wrote:

I don't buy from Wiggle. Poor customer service a few years ago was the reason, so never again.

You're an idiot. Their customer service is ridiculously good.

Avatar
Leviathan [1937 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
KiwiMike wrote:

LBS focus on bike fit/customisation/service/emergency purchases while online retailers big & small focus on shifting stuff at low cost and fast, with an excellent returns process = Happy cyclists

I though I was initially just being cynical, but more people are spending more money on bikes and everything that goes with them, me included, because we can get what we want, get what works, get what is cool. Wiggle is just part of that. And importantly more people are riding. Vive the internet. I was made redundant in 2012, it was the best thing that happened at my old job after 6 years. The wheel turns, the world turns.

Avatar
leqin [169 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Airzound wrote:

I don't buy from Wiggle. Poor customer service a few years ago was the reason, so never again.

I always buy from Wiggle. Great customer service over the years means they are my first shop of call for everything.

Avatar
leqin [169 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
J90 wrote:

 103

Airzound wrote:

I don't buy from Wiggle. Poor customer service a few years ago was the reason, so never again.

You're an idiot. Their customer service is ridiculously good.

No - he is someone with a personal opinion and he's got the right to say so without being accused of being mentally inferior.

Avatar
Grubbythumb [61 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
glynr36 wrote:

I suspect they want a ready built facility to move into, not build one of their own.

I understand that, but given they are talking about moving in summer 2015, that is more than enough time, given the land and a willing local authority, to get a warehouse and office well on it's way, if not finished, after all, it's just a huge slab of concrete with a steel framed building.

All it needs is for someone to pay for it... agh, yes, I see the flaw in my own argument.

Avatar
Guyz2010 [304 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Airzound wrote:
J90 wrote:

 103

Airzound wrote:

I don't buy from Wiggle. Poor customer service a few years ago was the reason, so never again.

You're an idiot. Their customer service is ridiculously good.

Really ………. well it wasn't for me.

You ……… are the IDIOT.

Come on you lot there's no need for blind keyboard castigation. Opinion are allowed.

Avatar
mrmo [2070 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Grubbythumb wrote:
glynr36 wrote:

I suspect they want a ready built facility to move into, not build one of their own.

I understand that, but given they are talking about moving in summer 2015, that is more than enough time, given the land and a willing local authority, to get a warehouse and office well on it's way, if not finished, after all, it's just a huge slab of concrete with a steel framed building.

All it needs is for someone to pay for it... agh, yes, I see the flaw in my own argument.

The problem is always planning, the reality is companies such as (the defunct?) Easter have huge plots of land that they either build sheds on speculatively or try and get a few key clients and then build for them, on sale or lease basis depending on what suits. Due to the recession things are a bit messier than they used to be as some companies never made it so not totally sure what this means for their land banks and planning.

If Wiggle are serious about moving there are plenty of places they can pick.

Avatar
29erKeith [39 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I suspect as much as space is a problem the Midlands is desirable because of the major distribution network hubs being based there. They'll get a better deal from their chosen distribution partner (Shorter delivery chain, in and out), have a better choice of them and be able to have a later cut off time for next day delivery by being closer to a hub than on a small and congested island on the south coast at least 2 hours away from the distribution hubs.

It's expansion costs and customers service which is what we're all asking for from a major on-line retailer. Stock (lots of it & choices), cheap and quick. A real shame for the Portsmouth staff, I wouldn't want to be in their boots. It'll be the pickers etc which are likely to be dropped the more senior the better chance you have of a relocation if they want it.

The move should be good for the consumer, just not so for the staff and Portsmouth who jobs wise has taken a right kicking in recent years.

Oh and btw I'm from Southampton, you two up there grow up with all this Southampton Pompy nonsense

Avatar
usedtobefaster [171 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"We have a lot of office space here but spaces for storage and factory floors is at a premium."

... and there we have the problem with the UK economy in a nutshell. We no longer have a massive manufacturing base that can employee large numbers of relatively unskilled workers a la shipbuilding, mining, steel production, car production (Nissan in Sunderland is the exception that proves the rule).

With the closure of the docks in Portsmouth this is another blow to local peoples employment opportunities.

Avatar
mrmo [2070 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
29erKeith wrote:

I suspect as much as space is a problem the Midlands is desirable because of the major distribution network hubs being based there. They'll get a better deal from their chosen distribution partner (Shorter delivery chain, in and out), have a better choice of them and be able to have a later cut off time for next day delivery by being closer to a hub than on a small and congested island on the south coast at least 2 hours away from the distribution hubs.

For example you have Milton Keynes and Amazon, and a fair few others, roughly central easy to get to motorways.

and a potential site to give an idea.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-to-let/property-45622207....

Avatar
meursault [28 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"Growth momentum" lol.

Avatar
Das [241 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Why not just build something specific in the Portsmouth area? Surely the council would be over the moon at the largest Independent Online Cycle Retailer in the UK staying in their area bringing in Millions a year and lowering the unemployment figures.
Looks like to me they have already made their mind up that they are moving.

Avatar
andyp [1448 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Haribo? Is it just me who never ends up with this mythical freebie? I always seem to get a single hydration tab.

Avatar
Leviathan [1937 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
andyp wrote:

Haribo? Is it just me who never ends up with this mythical freebie? I always seem to get a single hydration tab.

Stop buying small jerseys, buy XXL, they will get the message.

Avatar
keirik [55 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Grubbythumb wrote:
glynr36 wrote:

I suspect they want a ready built facility to move into, not build one of their own.

I understand that, but given they are talking about moving in summer 2015, that is more than enough time, given the land and a willing local authority, to get a warehouse and office well on it's way, if not finished, after all, it's just a huge slab of concrete with a steel framed building.

sadly its not.

having recently been involved in a project that included a new building its a hugely long drawn out process.

and after that you have to get the internet connectivity sorted and for a new site BT are quite happy to quote a minimum of 6 months

Avatar
hoski [81 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
andyp wrote:

Haribo? Is it just me who never ends up with this mythical freebie? I always seem to get a single hydration tab.

I've always associated the Haribo with when I buy parts. I guess they are to help with fettling? Along with a cup of tea/cool pint...

Pages