Kwik Fit, the automotive servicing and repair company, has announced it’s moving into the bicycle market through a “strategic partnership” with Fettle.
Over the past three years, Fettle has built a fast growing bike repair network, providing “faff-free” repairs and servicing across London to serve the growing demand from bicycle manufacturers, fleets and urban cyclists.
Under the new collaboration, Fettle at Kwik Fit operations will be opened in three Kwik Fit centres in London and Bristol in the coming weeks.
Kwik Fit currently has more than 600 locations across the UK and there are plans to grow the partnership beyond the initial launch.
The aim is to support all bike owners, but especially to serve the growing number of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes.
Mark Slade, managing director of Kwik Fit, said: “Bikes and cargo bikes, especially electric models, are increasingly being used for short urban journeys. However, the fragmented nature of the industry’s current network of largely independent bike shops makes it hard for manufacturers and fleet operators to secure reliable and consistent high quality servicing across their operations.
“By partnering with Fettle, we can offer its services and the expertise of its dedicated teams at Kwik Fit locations.
“Bikes are becoming more complex, and as well as the demand from fleet operators, the fact that many cyclists now buy through online channels means there is a requirement for the type of servicing and repair aftermarket that we are well used to in the automotive sector.
“Fettle has learnt a great deal over the last three years on the processes and skills required to tackle these trends, and a partnership between the businesses is a unique way to address this demand.”
E-bike sales have risen from 3% of all bikes sold in 2018 to 8% in 2022, and now represent 30% of overall bike sales value, while sales of cargo bikes at some retailers rose by 40% last year compared to 2021.
Although industry research suggests that new bikes will outsell cars across Europe by almost two to one by 2030, it’s well recognised that the UK bicycle market is still some years behind other parts of Europe in its development.
Kwik Fit and Fettle believe the new partnership could be “a game-changer” in key growth segments by providing the service and repair network both bicycle manufacturers and operators of cargo fleets require.
Jeyda Heselton, CEO and founder of Fettle, said: “Over the past three years we have experimented and invested in skills, processes, systems and locations.
“This has enabled us to understand how to best meet the growing demand for bike servicing and maintenance by consumers, manufacturers and fleets to help see green travel succeed in the UK.
“Combining our knowhow with Kwik Fit’s network and experience in the automotive sector was therefore a natural next step to accelerate our ability to service customers at scale.”
Fettle is in talks with a number of manufacturers and fleets to support the nationwide expansion and growing investment in the UK’s micromobility market.
The companies are also exploring the potential of offering the Fettle collection and delivery service from Kwik Fit centres beyond those initial locations with on-site bike servicing.
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For the immediate future, Fettle operations will remain separate from Kwik Fit with Fettle providing all staff, products and services for bicycle customers.
Fettle at Kwik Fit will provide a full roster of its services including free bike assessments and quotes, as well as the company’s proprietary bicycle MOT.
Those looking for more information on manufacturer and fleet services can find details at the Fettle website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.