Halfords made the announcement to colleagues at the 11 Cycle Republic stores today, informing them that their jobs would be safe and employment transferred to Pure Electric. The stores that are transferring include Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, and Southampton. Having concluded consultation with store colleagues, the remaining 11 Cycle Republic stores and the Boardman performance centre will now close.
“Our new stores show our vision and the market potential to not only transform the way people move, but the way people try and buy e-scooters and e-bikes,” said Pure Electric founder Adam Norris. “We can’t wait to serve customers a bigger range and offer free e-bike test rides. Every store will have a fully equipped workshop for servicing and repairs providing a first-class service for commuters.
“We’re delighted that in the process of our expansion, we’ve been able to secure 85 colleague jobs from Halfords plc, and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Pure Electric team. We thank Graham Stapleton (CEO Halfords plc,) and the team at Halfords plc for their collaborative approach.”
Launched 14 months ago by Norris, Pure Electric, formerly known as Pure Scooters, has recently diversified into e-bikes, stocking the Brompton Electric with a broader e-bike range planned when stores open. The 11 Pure Electric branded stores are due to open by early summer 2020, subject to Government lockdown restrictions.
“I know these fantastic high street sites well and I’m looking forward to bringing the Pure Electric brand from online to major cities across the UK, opening up new personal services including test rides to commuters and everybody who is interested in changing the way they move,” said Peter Kimberley, (previously MD of Cycle Republic and Tredz Bikes), now Pure Electric international managing director.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the world of e-bikes, e-scooters and mobility solutions. Personally, I’m really delighted to be able to bring along some great colleagues from Cycle Republic into the Pure Electric family. We can’t wait to open our doors and start serving the needs of customers across the UK.”
Halfords’ CEO Graham Stapleton said: “We’re pleased to have secured this agreement with Pure Electric. Our key priority throughout this process is to mitigate as many redundancies as possible. Not only does this agreement safeguard the employment of 85 of our Cycle Republic colleagues, but it is helping to secure the future of a number of retail sites across the country.
“We will continue to do everything that we can to redeploy other colleagues who are impacted by our proposal elsewhere within our business.”
Last month, the DfT launched an open consultation entitled “Future of transport regulatory review” which calls for evidence on whether e-scooters and other micromobility vehicles should be permitted. The DfT stated that micromobility could “help us decarbonise transport and tackle congestion and air pollution, make travel more affordable and convenient”.
Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular in the UK but are only allowed to be ridden on private roads with the landowner’s permission. Pure Electric recently launched a petition, already gathering 3,000 signatures, calling on the Government to “get a move on” with proposed legislation.
“The world of mobility is moving incredibly fast and we’re absolutely committed to being at the forefront of this exciting sector by opening prime city-centre locations,” said Norris. “Our products have the potential to have a huge positive impact on our transport system. Recently, we’ve seen the role that e-scooters and bicycles have had in providing transport to key workers across the UK, helping them avoid public transport where risk of transmission is much higher.
“We need to look hard at the future of our transport system and COVID-19 has accelerated the scrutiny of the status quo. Last week, in a YouGov study, just 9% want a complete to return to normal and 51% have noticed cleaner air. The time for change is now.”
He added: “A staggering 24% of all trips by car in the UK are under one mile and it’s these short journeys which can be swapped out by e-scooter or e-bike, with monumental impacts to congestion and air quality; travelling by these methods is fun too. The government needs to work fast to provide these future options, especially as we come out of the current lockdown restrictions. Public transport isn’t the safest option in terms of transmission, so we should be urgently looking at other options, without adding to air pollution.”