UK’s Tandem Brands Claud Butler and Dawes Merge
BIRMINGHAM, UK – Two of the UK’s oldest bike names, Claud Butler and Dawes, are to merge under the name Tandem Group Cycles, was announced recently. This news comes only one month after it was made public that parent company Tandem Group plc had made staff redundant, a company statement saying the lay-offs were due to, “a challenging environment….exacerbated by the weakness in sterling following the outcome of the Brexit.”
One clear implication of Tandem Group MD Steve Grant talking of the change resulting in a more, “streamlined and efficient operation” is further redundancies. In the six months to 30th June 2016 Tandem’s revenue increased by 10% to GBP 17.1 million (19.2 million euro) but operating profit dropped by GBP 264,000 (296,600 euro) to GBP 500,000 (561,700 euro) reported UK cycle trade publisher BikeBiz. Post-Brexit, Tandem Group plc has also seen a severe reduction in its share value from GBP 200 (224.72 euro) in January to GBP 96.65 (108.60 euro) today.
“Mid-tier cycle market saturated”
The company statement also said that whilst it considered its MTB and junior models to be particularly strong it added that “we consider the mid-tier independent cycle market to be saturated and highly competitive. Both brands will be merged within the Tandem Group but continue to target the IBD market.”
The original Claud Butler was a cycle dealer and frame builder whose business boomed between the wars but collapsed after 1945, though the name and the prestige it carried for its frames was bought and used by another UK bike manufacturer Holdsworth. Following economic difficulties in the 1980s Claud Butler ended up being produced by Falcon Cycles of the Tandem Group.
Though producing a wide range of bike styles, Dawes is best known for its touring Galaxy branded range. Celebrating its ninetieth birthday this year and family owned until the 1970s, the company was sold several times and shrunk hugely in size, and production was finally moved to Asia. It was sold to Tandem Group plc in 2001.
Other bike brands belonging to Tandem are Falcon and British Eagle and the company also owns MV Sports & Leisure, itself owner and licensee of several toy and sports brands.