58TH spot for CRC and 85th for Wiggle - both notch impressive growth

Wiggle and Chain Reaction make Sunday Times Fast Track 100

The past weekend’s Sunday Times has placed both Wiggle and Chain Reaction among the top 100 fastest growing private companies in the UK as part of the annual Fast Track 100.

The annual round up tracks the sales growth of each firm over the past three financial years and has concluded Chain Reaction has recorded a 66.01 per cent leap, while rival Wiggle recorded 53.01 per cent growth. This placed the retailers at 58 and 85th position among the top 100, respectively.

Outdoor retailer and bike stockist Go Outdoors ranked 80th with a 53.86 per cent rise in sales.

Chain Reaction is said to process 6,000 orders daily, investing £2 million in automating its packing line to achieve same day dispatch on all orders. Sales grew from £3 million in 2007 to £13.3 million in 2010. The retailer has also now opened a High Street store in Belfast and recently partnered with Collect Plus to offer free returns. More retail stores could be in the pipeline.

Wiggle, lead by chief executive and cyclist Humphrey Cobbald, now sells sports equipment and clothing in more than 70 countries. A second warehouse is scheduled to open shortly, largely to handle the volume of exported orders, which are said to exceed domestic demand. The firm received a £12 million investment in 2006 from Isis Equity Partners, giving them a 42 per cent stake in Wiggle. This was later increased to a 48 per cent stake. Sales in 2008 were valued at £24.2 million and that had leapt to £86.8 million this year.

Wiggle has also recently launched both Chinese and Russian versions of its website, as well as a mobile site.

The Fast Track 100 excludes technology firms, which are ranked in a separate Sunday Times article.

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