Midlands business expects to open four more stores, the first opening in winter 2014; e-commerce also to expand

Rutland Cycling secures £2.8m investment

Independent cycle retailer Rutland Cycling has announced it is set to expand following investment from BGF.

BGF, the independent company established to help Britain’s growing businesses, has invested £2.8m of growth capital in family-owned Rutland Cycling. This comes shortly after BGF’s £4m investment in Palmer Hargreaves, another Midlands business, headquartered in Leamington Spa.

The investment will fund the refurbishment and extension of Rutland Cycling’s existing estate of stores; as well as its national expansion, with four new outlets set to open in prominent UK leisure and tourist destinations over the next four years. The first of these will be ready in Winter 2014.

The investment will also enable Rutland to develop its e-commerce capabilities, including its website www.rutlandcycling.com.

In addition to providing growth capital, BGF has introduced the business to Keith Pacey and Keith Fleming who will join the board as non-executive Chairman and non-executive Director respectively at completion.

Pacey is the founder, and former CEO and Chairman of Maplin Electronics and has also held a number of NXC seats including at Mountain Warehouse, and LBM Direct Marketing Fleming is the former Finance and Strategy Director at B&Q plc, former CEO at Woolworths Group plc and former CFO of Blacks Leisure Group plc. Tim Whittard, Investment Director at BGF will also join the company’s board at completion.

Tim Whittard, Investment Director at BGF who joins the board of Rutland Cycling, commented: “Rutland Cycling is a business with a thirty year heritage that has developed a strong brand and fantastic relationships with the UK’s best selling bike companies. With the rising popularity in cycling, has come high levels of competition from online retailers in this space and Rutland’s combined bricks and mortar and e-commerce strategy and its differentiated customer offering has enabled it to hold its own in this competitive market. 

“Our investment marks the start of a partnership with the company and we look forward to working with the management team, Keith Pacey and Keith Fleming to take a successful well established model and expand it across wider geographies and to reinforce the business’ place in the cycling retail market.”

Rutland Cycling is led by Paul Archer and David Middlemiss who took control of the business in 2013, but have a long history in a business that was originally founded in 1981 by Paul’s parents, Dave and Ann Archer.

Rutland MD David Middlemiss added: “We are extremely pleased to be opening a new chapter, one that will bring exciting developments for our customers and our people. Our vision is to be Britain’s best cycling destination, and our staff have worked incredibly hard over the last year to be recognised as both the UK’s best Independent Bike Retailer and Women’s Independent Bike retailer of the year in recent months.

“Working with BGF now allows Rutland Cycling to realise the ambition we have to take a unique model, rooted in a passion for cycling and customer service, and inspire more people to own and ride a bike. This is excellent news for everyone associated with our business.”

Rutland Cycling sells and hires cycling products from its four stores in the Midlands and via its website; and is a preferred retailer for Giant, Trek and Specialized. The business currently turns over approximately £10m each year. Rutland Cycling’s retail outlets, which include one of Britain’s biggest bike shops, are located in leisure destinations in Lincolnshire (Rutland), Cambridgeshire (Grafham Water) and Northamptonshire (Fineshade Wood).

We spoke to the Rutland Cycling MD at the end of last year.

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