Or, to put it another way, the consolidation continues, this time south of the border. Edinburgh Bicycle bought Aberdeen Cycling World last year and has now acquired Hardisty Cycles of Byker. The Scottish and Newcastle deal has been brewing for some time but was finally signed yesterday.

Scotland’s biggest IBD buys one of England’s biggest IBDs

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative have acquired the assets and goodwill of Hardisty Cycles and John Hardisty’s shop will now trade under the name, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative Ltd.

Hardisty Cycles is a North East powerhouse of an IBD. Thanks to a splurge of radio advertising in the 1990s, independent pollsters discovered that, when asked, members of the Tyneside public gave ‘Hardisty Cycles’ before ‘Halfords’ when asked to name a retailer of bicycles.

A statement from Edinburgh Bicycle said:

"[We] have long admired Hardisty Cycles as a retailer of quality bicycles, accessories and cycle clothing. Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op intend to maintain and build on this fine reputation. In particular, we look forward to working with Hardisty¹s existing staff and suppliers."

Last March, Edinburgh Bicycle acquired Aberdeen Cycling World. This expansion-by-acquisation is highly unusual for a workers’ cooperative.

Ged Holmyard of Edinburgh Bicycle said "a degree of consolidation within the independent bicycle trade can benefit both the bicycle industry in general and the bicycle consumer in

particular. We believe that a smaller number of stronger retailers can provide our suppliers will a better-financed channel for their products. This consolidation should, in turn, help deliver a more reliable service re the supply of a better choice of quality equipment for the cyclist and cycle seeker.

"We look forward to combining the considerable resources of our already-established shops in Edinburgh and Aberdeen with our new branch in Newcastle."

Edinburgh cCo-op was started with three staff in 1977, and now employs up to 85 people during peak periods.

www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk was launched in 1996 and now has 10 000 customers on the weekly email list. E-commerce sales account for around a fifth of the shop’s turnover and net sales are growing.

Edinburgh Bicycle has a turnover of £4m+ and, with the latest acquisation, the three branch store will be well on the way to £6m, making it the second biggest independent in the UK, after Evans Cycles and its £10m annual turnover.

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