Neil Merry has announced his retirement from the bicycle business having served in the trade for 28 years.
The CSG UK co-managing director first joined the firm, at the time titled Hot Wheels, in 1984 at the end of the first BMX bike boom in the UK and set about broadening the range of products sold by the family business to include scooters, skateboards and other action sports inspired categories.
In 1989 Neil and his father Graham were joined in the family business by Russell Merry and together the brothers accelerated the growth of the business with Graham taking more of a back seat.
In 1989 Hot Wheels had a turnover of approximately £700,000, but had grown to almost £14 million and 26 staff when the business was sold to Dorel in 2009. Since then Neil and Russell, as Joint Managing Directors, have virtually doubled sales again to £27 million in 2011.
Neil Merry commented: “We have come a long way from relatively humble beginnings in a lifestyle industry that I have enjoyed. The unique character of the bicycle industry has presented challenges, but also many opportunities. I have travelled extensively with my work both prior to the sale of Hot Wheels and subsequently in my role within the Cycling Sports Group, I have met many interesting people who will remain friends for life and I have been fortunate to travel to some fantastic locations to ride bikes. I now have the opportunity to find new ways to spend my time, much of which will be spent on my interest in historic motor sport with my wife Debbie.”
CSG UK will build in the firm foundations that Neil has helped to lay with Russell continuing in the role of Managing Director and Mark Broughton promoted to Finance Director. Ian Wagman will be promoted to the role of Head of Sales with other opportunities and promotions possible across the Dorel Recreation/Leisure UK business.
Jeff Weiss, VP International Sales, Cycling Sports Group said, ”I have worked with the Merry brothers for many years when selling to Hot Wheels, helping CSG UK in its earliest days and more recently as a point of contact in our USA offices. I know that I speak for all of Dorel Recreational/Leisure Division in wishing Neil all the best for the future and recognise he will be a success with his hobbies, interests or any future business ventures. Neil and I both know that the UK is in safe hands with Russell and the new management team which will see CSG UK go from strength to strength.”
Retiring at the end of 2012, CSG UK staff last night enjoyed a dinner with their soon to depart boss.