Have UK’s Evans Ridden the Storm? Two New Stores Open
LONDON, UK – Bike Europe reported in November last year how the well-known 60 plus strong bike shop chain Evans was sold to Sports Direct. At the time of its sale Evans employed around 1300 people around 880 of whom worked in store. The head of the new owners, controversial figure Mike Ashley, stated at the time it was likely only 50% of Evans existing stores would be kept open.
The number of stores dipped to 54 but has now actually started to climb thanks to two recent openings of new stores.
Evans’ Glasgow Fort shop opened last month whilst a new branch has also just opened at Shirebrook in the Midlands. The latter is ‘brand store’ operating within an existing retailer, Tri UK which is also owned by Mike Ashley.
Still manufacturing and selling
Evans also still appear to be manufacturing and selling their own brand Pinnacle bikes though Pinnacle’s 2018 e-bike has not yet appeared in a 2019 version.
The better than expected fortunes of Evans are all the more surprising given news earlier in the year when Outdoor & Cycle Concepts, owners of Evans competitor Cycle Surgery, Runners Need, Snow + Rock and Cotswold Outdoor, applied for a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) after running into financial difficulties.
Cycle Surgery has been whittling down its store portfolio since 2017. There are currently around 19 Cycle Surgery stores (nine in London) but the Highbury branch is due to close in the wake of the CVA being approved by OCC’s creditors. Outdoor & Cycle Concepts is controlled by private equity firm PAI Partners.