11 former Cycle Republic Stores become Pure Electric stores in transfer deal

Eleven Cycle Republic stores will be transferred from the ownership of Halfords to Pure Electric, following Halfords’ decision to shut the Cycle Republic brand.

Last month, following a strategic review, Halfords announced its decision to shut the Cycle Republic chain, leading to redundancies fears for around 226 staff.

This deal will secure the future employment of 85 Cycle Republic colleagues, who will transfer to the Pure Electric team under TUPE regulations. Pure Electric is headed by Peter Kimberley, former Cycle Republic boss.

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.

Launched 14 months ago by entrepreneur and former Hargreaves Lansdown director Adam Norris, Pure Electric is aiming to tackle urban transport and climate problems through new tech. Pure Electric recently diversified into e-Bikes, including the Brompton Electric and a broader e-Bike range planned when stores open.

Pure Electric aims to open the 11 Pure Electric branded stores by early summer 2020 – subject to lockdown restrictions.

Halfords continues to consult with support centre staff affected by the proposal to close all other Cycle Republic operations, including Cyclerepublic.com, in the first half of FY21, with a view to mitigating redundancies where possible.

The move is part of the retailer’s strategy to focus its resources and investment in the performance cycling market through the Tredz brand.

Graham Stapleton, CEO 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.”

Adam Norris, Founder of Pure Electric, said: “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. 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.

“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. 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.”

Peter Kimberley, now Pure Electric International Managing Director, said: “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. 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.”