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"Difficult" cycling market hits profits at Evans Cycles

Pre-tax surplus down by two thirds in year to October 2015

The venture capital firm that bought Evans Cycles last year has pumped money into the business after pre-tax surplus fell by two thirds in its latest financial year.

The accounts, which cover the 12 months to 31 October 2015, show that the company’s pre-tax surplus fell by 69.4% to £1.74 million, down from £4.46 million in the previous financial year.

ECI Partners, which bought the business in a deal worth a reported £100 million in May last year has now refinanced the business, reports the Sunday Times [£].

The fall in profits was said to be “due to difficult market conditions experienced in the UK cycling market since February 2015,” according to the accounts of holding company, April Topco.

The accounts added: “ECI Partners LLP has invested additional funds into the business in order to reduce the term loans with its banks.”

Among issues that reportedly affected the business in its 2014/15 financial year were the poor summer of 2015 meaning fewer people were encouraged to start cycling compared to the previous year.

The company, founded by Frederick Evans in South London in 1921, now has 63 stores throughout Great Britain which also provide a click-and-collect service for its growing online operation.

It sells most leading brands and, exclusively, the Hoy Bikes brand launched in partnership with six-time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy.

While Team GB’s success in Rio coupled with Chris Froome’s win at the Tour de France might ordinarily be expected to give a boost to the cycling market, that may not be the case this year.

Consumer confidence has taken a knock due to the result of June’s European Union referendum, with prices of imported goods also starting to rise following the fall in Sterling that has followed the Brexit vote.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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17 comments

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Barraob1 | 7 years ago
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Never had any issues with them, have got some great deals from them in their sales

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leaway2 | 7 years ago
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Shoes are the only thing I don't buy online. When I bought my last pair of shoes from Evans (Trafford centre), the assistant was barely interested.

 

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Recarobob | 7 years ago
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I've bought 4 bikes and numerous other bits and pieces from Evans and have found the service and knowledge to be great. I use either the Gatwick or Lakeside stores, and yes there can be a wait at Gatwick but then they are very busy at certain times of the day. It is also their main warehouse so availability of parts isn't a problem.

As with most people I will price compare against the other main retailers and Evans will price match if required. They are much better than Halfords and it's nice to be able to talk face to face with a human being if required which you can't do with Wiggle/Chain Reaction.

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Awavey | 7 years ago
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never had any problems with Evans myself and Id probably use them alot more if they had a better nationwide presence, they may have 60 stores but half of those feel like they are inside the M25 and London and I think thats their real problem.

Where their stores are based you might say understandably in traditional strong cycling areas, but that means they are usually surrounded by any number of good quality competing stores/LBS. If Evans expanded, or more likely refocused on areas less well served by their main competitors, theyd probably do alot better, as certainly Ive found without that level of competition you tend to find LBS become interested only in selling new bikes, and dont offer anywhere like the service, knowledge, parts or kit that an Evans can deliver.

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drosco | 7 years ago
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Too expensive compared to online retailers and the shop experience isn't good enough compared to a local bike shop. Has anyone bought anything in their Gatwick store without being sat there for 30 minutes?

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dhague replied to drosco | 7 years ago
2 likes
drosco wrote:

Too expensive compared to online retailers

You do know they will price match, right? Just show them the ad or website on your phone.

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drosco replied to dhague | 7 years ago
0 likes
dhague wrote:
drosco wrote:

Too expensive compared to online retailers

You do know they will price match, right? Just show them the ad or website on your phone.

 

Who wants to go to a shop to haggle? If they can make money at the same price as Wiggle or Chainreaction, charge the same as Wiggle or Chainreaction. If they weren't so much more expensive for simple items, then I'd shop there all the time.

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Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
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Oddly enough I've just bought something from Evans. Bkool smart trainer for £225. Bargain. Looks like it was a one off I'm afraid. 

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Luv2ride | 7 years ago
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My experiences have been very positive, and have got some stonking deals from Evans on certain clothing items, Exposure lights, as well as parts.  Latest good experience was I ordered some Oakleys but tried to change the delivery address to where I was staying on holiday last week.  However,  I didn't change the default delivery address so the courier emailed to say they would deliver to my home.  Tried to contact the courier, who refused to deal with me direct. Contacted Evans who sorted, suggesting posting me another pair of glasses whilst they retrieved the originals from the courier, and upgraded me to free next day delivery for my trouble!  Still need to write to them to say thanks, but slightly concerned could get the customer services guy into trouble as it was my "stuff up" to start with....

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Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
1 like

I only use them out of desperation or if they are doing a sale. They are the PC World of bike shops. 

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brooksby replied to Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
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Yorkshire wallet wrote:

I only use them out of desperation or if they are doing a sale. They are the PC World of bike shops. 

And yet still better than Halfords...

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PaulBox | 7 years ago
3 likes

I've never really been a fan of Evans and they messed me about on a component a couple of months ago. It was in-stock on their web site so I ordered it, but after a couple of weeks I eventually received an email telling me that I'd been refunded because the item was now out of stock.

I emailed them asking if they would be getting any more in a couple of times and they never responded.

I understand that errors can happen, but just say sorry we made a boo-boo in our stock system, but If they can't be arsed to drop me a simple email they can fek off,  plenty of other places to shop.

On the other side of things, I've had a few issues with items purchased from Wiggle lately and those buggers can't do enough for you. I bought a bike from them end of last year and the wheels that came on it were shite. I know that standard wheels are normally shite, but I kept breaking spokes and it pissed me off. I spoke to one of their customer service people who called me after I dropped them an email. He said that they don't normally do this but would I accept a set of low end Campag wheels as a gesture of goodwill. I obviously said yes please, thank you very much. Not only that, but he chucked a pair of tubes and £70 worth of continental tyres in to the box with them! You can't knock that.

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Man of Lard | 7 years ago
3 likes

Also they are one of few retailers to charge your card at the point of ordering rather than the point of despatch... Which can be very off-putting for a preorder situation (like the one I'm in... Initial availability date was 1/July, slipped to 7/August and is now 1/November...)

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Yorky-M | 7 years ago
1 like

They are caught inbetween, the halfords and the local bike shop market. Stock when you drop in seems to be all commuter level...but they can get it.....but we are all spoilt kids and want it now.

My local has lost core , knowledgable staff so I dont go there anymore. 

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Ratfink | 7 years ago
6 likes

Actually carrying stock rather than expecting people to click and collect everything might help.

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Rapha Nadal replied to Ratfink | 7 years ago
0 likes

Ratfink wrote:

Actually carrying stock rather than expecting people to click and collect everything might help.

You can't expect any bricks & mortar outfit to carry all spares for all bikes and/or everything they can stock.

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Ratfink replied to Rapha Nadal | 7 years ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:

Ratfink wrote:

Actually carrying stock rather than expecting people to click and collect everything might help.

You can't expect any bricks & mortar outfit to carry all spares for all bikes and/or everything they can stock.

I agree but when you ask if they have the helmet that's on display in a large i'm not impressed with the answer "no,you can order one online to click and collect in a few days".

I'd be more impressed with "we can order one in for you".

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