More evidence of challenging times for the bike industry as Moore Large — the UK distributor for brands such as Tern Bicycles, Lake, Forme, ETC, Emmelle and MeThree — has entered liquidation.
road.cc has contacted Moore Large for comment and there has been no official word from the brand, but the news was first reported in a post on LinkedIn by Greg Connell of InfolinkGazette who notes the distributor "filed a Notice of Appointment to appoint an administrator in the High Court" on Monday.
Prominent active travel journalist Carlton Reid has since tweeted about the situation, saying: "Went last night. Staff meeting today at 10am. All redundant. 20 staff being kept in accounts and admin. Company cars being collected today."
The company formed from the bike shop opened by John Moore in 1947, the Derby-based distributor was founded 30 years later and owned by the Moore family up until last year when, following growth since the pandemic, the board's directors bought ownership from the family.
Dale Vanderplank, Adam Garner, Adam Biggs and Andrew Walker acquired the business on 19 April 2022, retiring chairman Nigel Moore at the time saying the "last few years have been particularly successful and it is now the right time for me to hand over the company to the existing management team".
"The company is in excellent shape and has limitless opportunities with development of proprietary brands Forme and ETC and as being UK representative for many premium global brands. The new owners will enjoy fantastic support from a world class workforce, and I am confident together, they will enjoy great success," he told Cycling Industry News just 11 months ago.
The picture today could not be less positive, the distributor of many well-known brands no longer a player in the cycling industry, the latest British brand to suffer during challenging times for many.
Just last month the Bicycle Association's Annual Market Data Report for 2022 showed that UK bike sales have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years.
Combining sales figures and other data the Association's research suggests that mechanical bike sales fell by 22 per cent in 2022, down to 1.8 million units and 27 per cent below pre-Covid levels.
Those figures backed up Halfords' trading statement for the third quarter of its 2022/23 financial year in which, the UK's largest retailer of bicycles and accessories, said that the cycling market is down 20 per cent year on year, with the cost-of-living crisis hitting consumers' demand for high-ticket, discretionary purchases.
There have been redundencies too, at Strava and Wahoo in December, while Specialized slashed one in 12 jobs at the start of the year. Just last week it was revealed that Zwift had made a fresh wave of redundancies, with 15 per cent of workers laid off.
Last month, Look mum no hands! London's iconic cycle café closed, citing rising costs, the ongoing impact of Covid on hospitality businesses and a change in work patterns for a "significant reduction in turnover".
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.