Just seen this thought I’d share
For me in the Republic, since they merged and it wasn’t coming from the north, there was less reason to use them anyway. Post brexit delivery has been even slower, notwithstanding questions around consumer protections.
I wonder would it have been different if they had consolidated operations in Belfast, and retained free access to both EU and UK markets?
I would have seen the loss of Wiggle/CRC as a big hit in 2019. They had most stuff I’d want to buy, they were usually the cheapest price for that stuff, and they were at least competitive if they weren’t. And in the UK you could get Wiggle+ for unlimited next day delivery. Perfect for last minute parts for races etc. And 12% loyalty discount was incredible for products that were never on sale elsewhere. An absolute home mechanic’s dream. Value was so good that I had Wiggle+ but not Amazon Prime.
In 2023 though I find I’m using them less and less. They’re constantly out of stock of key staple products even when all their competitors have good availability. Pricing is average overall and varies enough product to product that I no longer feel confident buying from them by default without doing price comparisons to other retailers. Seems like more and more products are getting exempted from loyalty discounts too. I’m still doing Wiggle+ for now but not really feeling like it adds much value anymore - there’s only ever like a 50/50 chance that they’ll have the thing I need for tomorrow.
The one-stop-shop online retailer king seems to be a thing of the past. Brexit is the big obvious killer here but it also feels like the landscape has just changed overall. If only Scotland were still in the EU then I could at least keep ordering from the Germans with relative ease!
For me it would be no great loss if we saw the end of Wiggle/CRC right now. What I’d be more concerned about is the future of the Vitus, Prime, and DHB brands. Whether or not I’d miss any of their specific products, I think those brands are really good for helping to keep pressure on bigger more mainstream brands to keep their quality high and not let their prices sprial out of control. Of course there are now a few more decent players in that space (like Sigma Sports with Universal Colours and Vel), so maybe my love for the W/CRC house brands is more nostalgic than practical - they were my intro to ‘performance’ gear so perhaps they’re more important to me personally than to the online retail industry overall.
Perhaps the quality/marketing/customer support gap between these second-tier brands and Chinese direct-to-consumer brands has narrowed enough that we don’t need Vitus/Prime/DHB nearly as much as we used to?
Actually my only purchases off Wiggle/CRC in the last year have been Prime Wheels and DHB shoes - both heavily discounted though. For an end user, they are doing tax and duties included to EU, but I imagine it’s much more administration and delivery is slower than German/ French/ Spanish options. My order before that was a BB, and it took 2 days longer than the bike discount order that was made within 5 minutes of it.
It’s a particular shame as CRC was an established “Irish” brand and pretty much the go to before the merger (notwithstanding long running currency conversion issues between .ie and .co.uk prices)
They are toast. Zero chance they recover.
Sigma aren’t safe, they may end up going the same way soon the way the bike business is going
Living between Ireland and the UK it is a shame to see how crap they have gotten. Now I use most other retailers like BikeInn & Bike Discount… I only use them when getting a small order where I’d be entitled for free shipping to Ireland. I do love DHB kit and 90% of my kit is from DHB, so hopefully they stick around.
Living in the US I’ve ordered a few things from them over the years, mostly tires since they tended to have better pricing than I could get here and always received good service. Got a screaming deal on Topeak D-torq torque wrench last year which was sweet. But I ordered a pair of tires from them earlier this year and delivery was over 3 weeks. After that I decided I probably wouldn’t be ordering from them again again.
Don’t think that website re-design helped. I now wonder if that was an attempt to increase sales, or a downsizing operation.
And Prime, my last set of winter wheels were Prime as they offer a good spec for the money. My last big purchase from Wiggle though was my gravel bike 2 or 3 years back but for a lot of the smaller stuff I’m finding in stock cheaper elsewhere with a more reliable delivery service.
It’s a real shame.
I’ve always had great experiences with wiggle and they are always the first place I look when I want something… but gone are the days where they would be guaranteed to have what I needed.
I’m a wiggle+ subscriber and but even so I find myself shopping around more and more. Won’t be surprised if I loose my platinum discount soon?
Although I did recently buy a prime 343 rear disk from them so my discount should be safe for a bit
Impeccable timing as I had posted on another thread here that I was looking at a Vitus Venon as a possible next GRoad bike. Seems like that’s a poor idea given this tidbit from the Cyclingnews story. Hell maybe they’ll go on clearance!
“ Elsewhere, in a LinkedIn post, the CEO of Signa Sports United’s North American cycling sector, encompassing Vitus and Nukeproof, appears to suggest that 45 of its employees are now available to be contacted for work, suggesting that they have, or will shortly be laid off, and that the whole North American division of the company is closing down.
“SIGNA Sports United North America’s bike division has been forced to cease all operations with less than a few days’ notice. This was triggered Monday by a sudden reneging of a binding 150 million Euro equity commitment to SIGNA Sports United N.V.””
Minor update, I just noticed that visiting Vitus’s US site now automatically bounces you to the British site. This was not the case earlier this week. A portent of doom for sure!
This is what annoys me so much when companies buy others. They were two good sites now you could lose both now. Wonder how much the purchase hurt the balance sheets as well
Is this finally the covid hangover and higher interest rates hitting the fan in the cycling industry?
yes, but more likely due to leeches ‘investing’ in the business then sucking all the money out of it
I certainly hope it was downsizing because the website definitely did not get better!
The elimination of the wishlist feature alone must be a big sales loser. I’ve bought stuff off of them in the past that I would never have even remembered I wanted if I didn’t have it on my wishlist. And I had a whole separate list called ‘consumables’ which I’d add something from for nearly every order. CR2032 batteries or Clif bars or bike cleaner or something.
Ugh I hope not because i do like DHB clothes. I am glad I just stocked up on 4 pairs of the aeron bib shorts if that’s the case although maybe there’s an even bigger clearance coming.
The redesigned website alone should sink them. Its absolutely horrendous to navigate to the items you want.
I’ll never forget finding wiggle’s overstock reseller on eBay where I bought a broken Tacx Neo they said was operational, got a refund, and then had it refurbed at Tacx for the cost of shipping.
I will miss both. Great companies. Shame.