Wiggle ponders move to Midlands
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."