Rapha to re-enter wholesale market with Wiggle
Rapha, the premium cycling clothing brand, has confirmed a partnership with online sports retailer Wiggle to boost its wholesale business.
The move comes shortly after an unknown number of redundancies at the technical apparel company’s headquarters in London as part of efforts to cut costs and simplify certain parts of the business.
Rapha was acquired by Steuart and Tom Walton, the grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton, for £200 million last year and the company has taken a series of steps which may suggest a change of strategy.
A limited range of the brand’s Core, Classic and Pro Team collections have now launched on Wiggle as the brand looks to reach more potential customers. This is not the first time Rapha has used targeted wholesale, having previously launched ranges through Evans Cycles, but the company had become exclusively direct-to-consumer a few years ago.
CMO Sarah Clark told Bike Radar that the company’s CEO Simon Mottram outlined an aim to reach more cyclists through the targeted use of wholesale at a strategic reset in September.
“We remain committed to our direct-to-consumer model and the vast majority of our sales will continue to come through Rapha channels, but partnerships like Wiggle should allow us to reach more cyclists, more often,” she said.
However, Rapha will keep a tight grip on how the brand is portrayed on Wiggle, and will provide its own imagery of stock to ensure it retains its premium credentials. A Rapha team will also sign off all Rapha-related pages and communications, reported Bike Radar.
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