Wall-mounted bicycle storage firm Cycloc is to cease production, with its founder citing the impact of Brexit as one of the principal reasons for the decision.
The company, which has been in business for 17 years, announced yesterday that it would stop manufacturing its award-winning products, which have proved popular among both individuals and businesses for storing bicycles, and would also close its UK warehouse.
In a statement, company founder Andrew Lang, who is also its principal designer, said: “This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, particularly as we have a development pipeline of new products, but it was personally important to me to wind operations down whilst the company is still solvent and without owing creditors.
“I’m having to press pause for now to take some time away and evaluate what form Cycloc might be able to take in the future.”
Providing further background to the decision in a video posted to YouTube and addressed to the company’s customers, partners, distributors and retailers, he said: “Over the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking directly with many of you about our shared passion of cycling.
“As most of you will be aware the last few years of trading have been extremely challenging for the cycling industry, something we have not been immune to. We have faced rising operation costs alongside negative impacts of COVID and increased barriers to selling in the EU as a result of Brexit, something that has been magnified by our wish to continue to manufacture in the UK.
“What you may not be aware of is that Cycloc is an entirely self-funded venture. Its growth has been organic. There are no external investors and our funding sources are finite. This means we now find ourselves with no choice but to cease manufacture and close our UK warehouse operations.
This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, particularly as we have a development pipeline of new products, but it's personally important to me to do this while we remain solvent and with no creditors.”
He added: “We will continue to sell through our existing website while stocks remain available, and I want to assure our customers that our support lines will remain operational.”
In an article published in the Guardian earlier this year, Cycloc revealed that the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, which prior to Brexit accounted for 50 per cent of its business, had cost it a quarter of its turnover.
He said it was “very difficult to be positive” about the situation, citing “Kafkaesque” rules introduced for trading with EU member states.
Underlining that the company remained committed to making its products in the UK, he said: “"It is very disappointing. I am a naturally optimistic person, but in a sense it is very difficult to be positive.
“One of the things that is quite disappointing about this whole process is that from the outset, we made an active decision to manufacture in the UK.
“We’ve remained faithful to that and it feels as though the UK government hasn’t necessarily helped us.”
“We have about half a dozen products in the pipeline that are in a very advanced stage but we've not been able to commit the capital to bring those to the market yet because of the other Brexit costs and problems we’ve been confronted with.”
The company’s head of operations, Clare Lowe, added that there was also an issue with some “EU distributors stopping placing orders, citing cost of shipping and customs clearance as prohibitive.”
The company opened a warehouse in the Netherlands in an attempt to reduce the administrative burden, with paperwork only needing to be completed for each truckload arriving from the UK, rather than for individual orders to EU customers dispatched directly.
Even then, the financial burden proved too onerous, and with Lowe saying that it was clear that sales to the EU were “not going to recover to their pre-Brexit levels,” the facility would have continued operating at a loss.
“To say the Brexit process was gritty is an understatement,” she explained. “Within 12 months of having got it up and running, we just had to take this decision to close it because it wasn't covering its costs,” she added.
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.