Evans Cycles

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Evans Cycles
Privately held company
Industry Cycling
Founded London, United Kingdom, 1921
Headquarters Camino Park
Crawley West Sussex, United Kingdom
Key people
Mike Tomkins, Chairman
Nick Wilkinson, CEO
Mike Rice, Director
Jonathan Blanchard, CFO
Number of employees
approx. 1,100 in 2012
Parent ECI Partners
Website www.evanscycles.com
Evans Cycles, Wandsworth High Street, London

Evans Cycles is a British cycle retailer. It was opened in central London by a London cyclist, Frederick Evans, who won an award from Britain's largest cycling club for the best cycling invention of 1925. He left his shop to be run by his manager and joined the Royal Air Force when war broke out in 1939. He died in a road accident in 1944 and the shop and the national business that developed from it has had several owners. It is owned now by ECI Partners.

The history[edit]

The business was created by a London cyclist, Frederick W. Evans. He created what The Bicycle described as a quick-release and reversible rear wheel device, an ingenious feat for which he was awarded the Cyclists' Touring Club's first silver plaque as the inventor or producer of the greatest improvement in cycle design, construction or equipment during the year 1925.[1]

Evans opened a shop in Kennington Road in south east London, known as F.W. Evans Cycles. With the outbreak of war in 1939 he joined the Royal Air Force and left the business in charge of his manager. The shop traded from this site for 30 years. Evans died in a road accident in 1944, having never again run his shop. He was by then in the educational engineering branch of the RAF.[2]

The business was bought by Joseph Smith in the 1950s. At the time the shop sold cycles and toys. In the 1970s Smith handed the business to his son, Gary, who turned the shop into a specialist cycle retailer. After more than 50 years at Kennington Road, the site came up for development. The shop moved to Waterloo, at 77- 79 The Cut.

During the 1990s, Gary worked with Mike Rice, the Croydon store franchise owner, to bring the other franchised stores under the control of F.W. Evans Cycles (UK). During this time the Evans Cycles mail order catalogue was launched, requiring a central distribution centre, later established in Leatherhead, Surrey. This coincided with the Evans Cycles web site being established.

Sponsorship[edit]

For many years Evans Cycles has been involved in many different rider sponsoring activities, including various racing teams in a range of cycling areas.

Recent expansion[edit]

The business outgrew its distribution centre in Leatherhead. In 2001 the head office and distribution centre moved to Gatwick, Sussex, which is still the company’s base.

The company opened between two and three stores each year until 2006 when it opened six. In 2004 Evans Cycles moved outside south-east England, with a branch in Castleford, Yorkshire. There were eight new stores in 2007

Current ownership[edit]

Trading as Evans Cycles, the registered parent company name is Evans Holdings Ltd (registered office: Camino Park, James Watt Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9TZ). Evans Holdings and its subsidiaries are a private limited company (Evans Cycles Holdings Ltd. Company number: 6474505).

In 2015 a majority stake in Evans Cycles was acquired by ECI Partners.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Bicycle, UK, 13 December 1944, p25
  2. ^ The Bicycle, UK, 13 December 1944, p25