"This business is about pace," says Mark Dermody, CIO of cycling and sport retailer e-commerce business Wiggle. But the same is very true of the sports that Wiggle has become one of the leading suppliers to, cycling, triathlon and running. "You can't grow as quickly as we are without pace," he says.
"It's a cool brand that resonates with the customers," Dermody says of the bright orange and white pure play retailer riding high as cycling and outdoor competitive sports replace sedentary car travel and gyms in modern culture. In 2012, Wiggle reported a turnover of £140 million and grew by 20 per cent in a global economy that was nowhere near as healthy as the people that shop at Wiggle. Growing economies such as Asia, commodities wealthy Australia and recession hit Europe were the best markets and Wiggle says it had 70 million visits and dispatched three million orders in the Olympic year.
"We have capitalised on the opportunity, Dermody says. An Olympic year and one where Team GB did so well in athletics, cycling and triathlon will have helped, but Wiggle and Dermody are clearly ambitious.
"Our plan is to be the biggest and there is no reason why we can't be a global player in enthusiastic participation sport," he says.
Having a business and process model that is as slick as Bradley Wiggins in full time-trial battle cry is what has given Wiggle a serious edge in the market. It's online, supply chain and distribution strategy enable the British company to deliver almost any size of item to Australia in just 40 hours. Another example of British competition beating the Australian's hands down.
"The medals in cycling and triathlon have helped the sports go from strength to strength. It does feel like a real boom for the sport and for this country.
"We believe it's sustainable. There is a global shift and people are thinking differently in the way they live and travel," he says of the way cycling has sprinted to the forefront as a form of travel and exercise in the UK. In the summer of 2012 Sport England claimed that there were 161,000 regular cyclists in the UK and London's growth of cycling as a commuter method has been one of the most significant. As ever consumer behaviour is well ahead of the political world, but of late the Conservative-led government has recently realised it must invest in cycling infrastructure following an inquiry and major pressure from The Times newspaper, cycling communities and British cycling legends such as Chris Boardman.
There has been no let up in the professional cycling arena either with the Sky Team winning a second Tour de France with Chris Froome, just one year after Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British winner. Wiggle itself backs one of the most significant women's professional racing teams that include Team GB Olympic medal winners Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell.
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