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As the cycling industry becomes increasingly overwhelmed by trendy single global brand stores, high street chains and investor driven businesses, a local company is determined to fly the flag for privately owned independents and proves they can flourish against National brands and online discounters.
After an accumulative total of 34 years of putting their heart and soul into Pedal Revolution, owners Gareth Edwards and Neil Turner have decided it is time to take a step back. Pedal Revolution is now under new ownership as it announces that its loyal management team have successfully completed a Management Buy-Out (MBO) and will drive the company forward with renewed vigour, innovation and passion.
The pair had successfully navigated numerous retail market changes, challenges in the industry and a transformation in customer buying habits to create a sustainable business that is one of the most successful independent cycling shops in the UK. Indeed, few other businesses in the UK could boast such a holistic customer offering: a choice of top brand bikes, bespoke builds, Precision Bike Fit, a trusted workshop and the continued support to a community events programme that this year aims to enable half a million cycling miles to be achieved in our region.
On January 14th 2022, Pedal Revolution started a new chapter in its history. A new dynamic Management Team are ready to propel the company forwards and determined not to let the business rest on its laurels. The new team of Directors bring a wealth of experience, diversity and enthusiasm to managing the business.
Leading the new team is Managing Director Kate Warner, who for the last 7 years has been Store Manager in the Norwich branch. Women in any leadership position in the cycling industry is virtually unknown and Kate has proven she has the capability to lead and manage by growing the Norwich stores’ performance on a consistent basis over the last 7 years. Since joining the team in 2013, Kates’ main focus was to offer inspiration and support to fellow female cyclists and to show Pedal Revolution as an advocate for womens cycling. Kate experienced first-hand how male-dominated cycling was and has been instrumental in helping Pedal Revolution overcome these challenges and to become a proud advocate for womens cycling in sporting, recreational, social and commuting activities. By appointing a female Managing Director, Pedal Revolution are again demonstrating cycling is a sport and activity that can be loved and enjoyed by all.
Completing the new ownership team are three other Directors. Matt Watts has over 20 years of experience in Project Management and a long-term cycling passion. Marc Eales has the wealth and depth of 30 years of retail management experience. And Ben Turner brings a fresh new perspective with his knowledge and experience of eBikes and a determination to innovate with new customer propositions.
The new team have a clear development plan for the business with new innovations to customer service and hospitality promised throughout their first year. They are also passionate about retaining the underlying 1998 Pedal Revolution philosophy – to offer a city cycling centre, for cyclists, run by cyclists, where every customers passion for cycling is shared by each and every team member.
Pedal Revolutions’ ability to offer independent choice and advice for a range of top cycling brands is much appreciated by customers and is all part of the aim to deliver not just brilliant customer service but brilliant customer hospitality. “Having a choice, understanding the pros and cons between the bewildering array of bikes and kit is something that we have found local people really appreciate. They come to us for fair and impartial advice and guidance and we are delighted to help kickstart their cycling journey or give it a refresh to help them achieve the next level” explains Kate Warner.
Neil Turner commented “Gareth and I thought long and hard about the next stage for Pedal Revolution and where we would like to see it head. The obvious answer was to sell it as a profitable business to a rival or national chain. This would have changed the philosophy Gareth and I worked so hard to create with our loyal team over the last 24 years and just did not seem the right thing to do. An MBO offered the team the opportunity to take ownership of the business themselves and continue as a privately owned independent within the regional cycling community, which Gareth and I believe is vital for our customers and the community”.
Kate Warner added “This is the most amazing opportunity for Pedal Revolution and the whole team. Words can not express how grateful we all are for Gareth and Neil offering us the MBO. We are all extremely excited and filled with energy and enthusiasm in taking Pedal Revolution into the future and are really looking forward to the new experiences this brings. Our focus really will be on bringing our brand values to the forefront of the business and ensuring that we continue to support the whole of the cycling community, offering brilliant customer service and the hospitality everyone expects from us. In line with this, we are pleased to be able to continue supporting The Pedal Revolution Events team, Helen and Josh, who this year have once again coordinated and organised an excellent, and an impressive variety of local cycling events, all of which offer the cycling community a diverse range of routes and experiences, but most importantly cater for riders of all abilities and all ages!” “
Pedal Revolutions’ long-standing relationship with Trek, which spans almost 15 years, continues with the flagship Norwich store working closely with the bike brand. Trek, as a brand, share the same passion and promise when it comes to hospitality and customer service. They offer a great range of products to suit all riding needs which ties in brilliantly with Pedal Revolutions’ brand values. The new team are filled with enthusiasm and creativity and have already prepared some amazing ideas on unique customer propositions which they will be developing and delivering in partnership with Trek. “We’re delighted to be entering this exciting new chapter in partnership with Kate & the team at Pedal Revolution, and continuing the great work and guiding principles started by Gareth & Neil, delivering groundbreaking advocacy and a great retail experience for cyclists across Norwich and Norfolk” commented Naythan Bellamy of Trek Bikes.
On hearing the news, here is the immediate reaction from across the local cycling community:
Former independent print and design business owners, and well-known cycling enthusiasts in the local cycling community, Katrina and Barney Phillips said ‘ A brave move, a new opportunity and a chance to be bold, decisive, and aim high. It’s awesome that it’s headed by a female MD and it’s fantastic news that Neil and Gareth have given an opportunity of a management buy out to the staff at PedRev. It would have been easy to sell to a bigger multinational resulting in the business being swallowed up and another independent Norfolk business potentially leaving yet another hole in the high street. It’s always great to support a local business that’s going from strength to strength. We wish Kate and team all the very best.”
“The MBO and a New Management Team sounds really exciting for Pedal Revolution. Running your own business is an amazing experience – I wish you guys all the best for continued success”. Paul Walker, Managing Director of ABC Taxis
Hannah O’Brien, winner of the 2021 East District Championship Ladies 10 Mile TT, racing for Loose Cannons Conditioning, commented “As a happy repeat customer at PedRev, I’ve found my experience with them to be friendly and personal. PedRev has always had a very welcoming feel that you only get from an independent shop. So good to know that with the MBO Kate and the team will be able to continue this impressive work and start an incredibly exciting new chapter for Pedal Revolution. Fantastic.”
While Hannah’s husband, Suffolk based Matt O’Brien who also competitively races TT’s for Loose Cannons Conditioning, said “I’ve been a customer of Pedal Revolution for the last five years, originally choosing to buy a bike from them as they were friendly and approachable, had time to discuss what was right for me and made me feel valued. They have given the service and care that only an independent bike store would and this has kept me coming back. My whole family now has a bike from them. When I learned about the MBO I was over the moon. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Kate and the team and one they thoroughly deserve. This means that the future of PedRev as an independent bike shop is secure and it that they can continue to do the things that only independents can, caring as much about service, reputation and community, as the bottom line. I know how much work and care Kate puts into everything she does and I can only see this growing (if that’s possible)”
“I have been using Pedal Revolution since 2015 and have purchased several bikes from them and wouldn’t go anywhere else. My local store is Gorleston, Marc and Skip are amazing, I’m such a fussy customer but nothing is too much trouble for them they often tweak my bikes for me. I have used Norwich and when I go in I always get a friendly greeting from Kate and Ben. I wish Gareth and Neil all the best. If you want a one-stop shop then Pedal Revolution is the place to go. It’s great that they are staying as a local bike shop and not like the other national ones where you are just a number. These guys really care. Good luck to the new team all the best” Des’ Comments from Des Cook, a member of Gt Yarmouth Cycling Club.
And fellow Great Yarmouth Cycling Club Member Mark Thompson said, “I am excited to hear that the management of Pedal Revolution have purchased the business, enabling this excellent independent bike shop to keep providing superb service to the local community. I purchased my first proper bike from them back in 2016 as a novice triathlete. Now, as a competitive age-grouper, I use PedRev to maintain and service my race bikes for both cycling time trials and iron-distance triathlons. The service has always been friendly, reliable and great value-for-money. I look forward to them keeping me on the road this season as I aim to break age group records at national races. I wish the new management team all the very best going forward“.
eBike customers Mr and Mrs Symons were new to cycling during the pandemic. “We bought his and hers ebikes from PedRev and they were patient, understanding and helpful in helping us find the best bikes for our needs and delivered them to us as we live rurally. We were delighted to find such a friendly independent bike shop and delighted to hear it is going to continue as such and go from strength to strength.”
Local customer Matt bought an eBike to commute to clients in and around the city “I am delighted that PedRev will remain independent and in private hands. Norwich and Norfolk have a great reputation for supporting local businesses and I intend to continue to do just that with PedRev. Good luck to Kate, Matt, Marc, Ben and all the team.”
Gemma, who owns and runs local café CherryLeaf said “I’m so happy that Pedal Revolution will continue to be run as an independent business with a friendly team of excellent staff, who provide the type of customer service you just can’t get with a national brand. I’m even happier to know there is an inspiring and motivated female leading from the top so the business is still in very capable hands to grow and expand further.”
While long-standing customer and Account Manager for supplier ZyroFisher, Greg Simcock commented “Firstly, a huge thank you to Gareth and Neil, it’s been a pleasure to deal with you for more years than I can remember. Now on to the next chapter for Pedal Revolution and I’m so pleased that the store stays local, as a true independent retailer. I’m looking forward to more of the same great service and amazing new products, good luck Kate and the team!”
“It’s awesome to hear that Pedal Revolution is to continue as it always has – a local bike shop supporting and investing in grassroots cycling, inspiring and enabling local riders to realise their goals. They were there for me when I started my cycling journey in my early youth, they supported me and organised countless coaching, training and racing events that inspired me to want to make cycle racing not just my passion but my living. Chapeau and long live PedRev as our local independent”! Supported rider, Zak Coleman for VolkerWessels Professional Cycling Team, Netherlands.