The fate of Evans Cycles took another turn today with Sky News‘ report that Halfords has pulled out of the running in the race to take on the struggling cycle retailer.
The news outlet said that Halfords has removed itself from the bidding for Evans, apparently paving the way for Sports Direct Mike Ashley, who is rapidly buying up the high street and is the sole shareholder of Tri UK, as of 2017.
The news that one potential bidder has been ruled out will not be viewed positively by the cycle industry, as should Evans fail there will be a 60-cycle store (and e-commerce store) sized gap in the UK bike market.
If true, the report that Halfords has pulled out of the race for Evans will back the view of some pundits that Halfords-owned Cycle Republic has been readying to take share of the market from Evans Cycles, not least in the coveted M25 region. Cycle Republic recently signed a deal to retail urban-centric folding bike brand Brompton. Cycle Republic also recently entered a new partnership with Scottish cycle apparel brand Endura and Spanish cycle manufacturer Orbea. Could an expansion of Cycle Republic stores be in the offing in the near future?