Mitch Dall and Harvey Jones started the UK’s largest internet cycling retailer in 1999. By 2006 Wiggle had grown so fast they recognised the need for fresh expertise and investment. While Mitch wanted to bring in some outside investment so he could release some cash and pursue other interests, Harvey wanted to stay in the business. They knew that if they wanted to continue to grow, they needed outside help to professionalise the operation and grow the management team.
Real Situation /
“Initially, I thought the only options you had would be to either run the company or sell out and disappear, when the reality was that we could actually have external investment but still remain in the company, with majority control. I didn’t want to exit just yet and still had things I wanted to do and prove.” Harvey Jones, Co-Founder.
Real Difference & Results /
Investing in a new team of retail management talent at the right time in the business’ development helped triple sales – and hiring people with a passion for cycling helped keep the original Wiggle spirit and culture alive and flourishing. This new team – with cycling obsessive Humphrey Cobbold as CEO and former Asda Chairman and CEO and fellow cycling enthusiast Andy Bond as a Chairman – gave the last remaining founder the confidence to slowly step back and hand over the reigns.
- Turnover up from £11m on investment in 2006 to £86m in the financial year ended 2011.
- Expansion into overseas markets – overseas sales up to 53.8% of total sales for the financial year ended 2011, from 2.5% of total sales in 2008.
- Triumphs over UK high street giants in 2011 to win ‘Product Innovation’ category at the annual Oracle Retail Week Awards, ahead of entries from Waitrose, Tesco, Boots, The Conran Group, Asda and other major companies.
- Awarded BikeBiz Awards – Best Online Retailer for the second year running in 2010.
- Wiggle sold in private equity backed deal worth £180m in 2011.
Livingbridge helped Wiggle build the foundations for future growth. Our journey with them has seen turnover and profits grow ten fold while delivering significant improvements in the customer proposition. At last count the company had a team of over 350 people and 11 international websites.
Founded by Harvey Jones and Mitch Dall
Own brand cycle product launched
Livingbridge invests. Wiggle moves to purpose built warehouse in Portsmouth
Turnover £17 million, investment in operations, marketing and merchandising teams
Turnover £33 million, Humphrey Cobbold joins as CEO
Turnover £87 million
Wiggle sold to Bridgepoint in £180 million deal