Wiggle ponders move to Midlands

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

by John Stevenson   August 7, 2014  

Wiggle logo

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."

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

posted by Metjas [304 posts]
7th August 2014 - 15:59

53 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.

posted by Grubbythumb [49 posts]
7th August 2014 - 16:20

38 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! Cool

Him Up North's picture

posted by Him Up North [235 posts]
7th August 2014 - 16:22

51 Likes

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

Airzound

posted by Airzound [449 posts]
7th August 2014 - 16:42

54 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.

Pain is just the French word for bread.

S13SFC's picture

posted by S13SFC [102 posts]
7th August 2014 - 16:42

43 Likes

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

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.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [628 posts]
7th August 2014 - 16:53

41 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...

posted by Philbert [19 posts]
7th August 2014 - 18:59

43 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.

posted by twowheeltoys [27 posts]
7th August 2014 - 19:38

47 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.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [495 posts]
7th August 2014 - 20:32

36 Likes

Wave

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.

posted by J90 [161 posts]
7th August 2014 - 23:23

35 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.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1391 posts]
7th August 2014 - 23:29

39 Likes

J90 wrote:
Wave
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.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [449 posts]
8th August 2014 - 1:18

27 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.

posted by leqin [128 posts]
8th August 2014 - 5:25

32 Likes

J90 wrote:
Wave
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.

posted by leqin [128 posts]
8th August 2014 - 5:30

43 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.

posted by Grubbythumb [49 posts]
8th August 2014 - 5:56

37 Likes

Airzound wrote:
J90 wrote:
Wave
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.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [290 posts]
8th August 2014 - 7:13

31 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.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1296 posts]
8th August 2014 - 7:22

29 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

posted by 29erKeith [34 posts]
8th August 2014 - 7:25

31 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.

posted by usedtobefaster [108 posts]
8th August 2014 - 7:55

21 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....

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1296 posts]
8th August 2014 - 9:29

17 Likes

"Growth momentum" lol.

meursault's picture

posted by meursault [20 posts]
8th August 2014 - 9:40

13 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.

Das's picture

posted by Das [108 posts]
8th August 2014 - 10:52

18 Likes

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

posted by andyp [1013 posts]
8th August 2014 - 10:52

17 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.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1391 posts]
8th August 2014 - 11:55

12 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

posted by keirik [30 posts]
8th August 2014 - 12:07

13 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...

posted by hoski [69 posts]
8th August 2014 - 12:13

13 Likes

They should come to Milton Keynes. There is loads of warehouse space and it's right next to the M1

David Palmer
Milton Keynes

Specialized Secteur Elite 2013
Team Raleigh Road Bike
Carrera Vulcan V-Spec

djpalmer32's picture

posted by djpalmer32 [56 posts]
8th August 2014 - 12:41

12 Likes

hoski wrote:
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...

nah, I still get hydro tabs with bike parts. not half as much fun when fettling. Still - I can't imagine that the haribo would last until fettling time...

posted by andyp [1013 posts]
8th August 2014 - 14:14

12 Likes

I can understand wiggles reasoning, I am from the midlands, there are a great deal of online retailers+shop retailers who have moved to the A38/A50/M6/M1 super junction, not to mention the new rail distribution hub that will be starting any time now. It makes total sense from a business point of view. And the size of the units are gargantuan to the extreme.
Bad for the people of Portsmouth, anyone losing their job through no fault of their own is awful, but I am sure many midlanders will welcome and benefit from the move. Not that that's any consolation.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.”

― Euripides, Bacchae

Cyclist's picture

posted by Cyclist [212 posts]
8th August 2014 - 17:35

4 Likes

woo. I got Haribo today Smile With a seatpost, fwiw.

posted by andyp [1013 posts]
11th August 2014 - 12:12

1 Like