Evans Cycles owner ECI Partners applying the brake after slowdown in bike sales

Francesca Washtell
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Bike sales have slumped from a post-Olympic surge (Source: Getty)

Evans Cycles is in talks with banks to overhaul its financing arrangements following industry-wide fears the bicycle market is peaking.

The cycling chain, which is owned by private equity group ECI Partners, has initiated discussions with its lenders after a slowdown in UK bike sales, Sky News first reported.

Crawley-based Evans Cycles has 63 stores in the UK and was sold by former owners Active Private Equity to ECI Partners last May for an undisclosed sum.

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Sales surged and interest in mass participation cycling events boomed as a result of the 2012 Olympics (dubbed by some the “Wiggo effect” after cycling superstar Bradley Wiggins), but sales for retailers this year have fallen flatter.

Rival Halfords, which estimates it has a 24 per cent market share, posted a four per cent revenue reduction in in its first quarter in an announcement last week.

Poor weather this spring and the timing of the early Easter were attributed to the declining bicycle demand, while the company said it was “looking forward to the peak summer cycling season”.

A Department for Transport report released last week found there was no statistically significant growth in the number of cyclists in England last year.

ECI Partners did not respond to a request for comment.

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