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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Uncertain future for Carlisle motorbike business

A popular motorbike parts and accessory store faces a battle to stay on the road after its parent company fell into administration.

Neil Minton photo
Neil Minton

Hein Gericke UK Ltd announced yesterday that its 47 stores are in the hands of administrators examining its books.

It has seen its popular Carlisle franchise, which employs five staff led by manager Neil Minton, notified about the action.

The move could lead to a sale of the stores, buy-outs or closures. The administrators are hoping for a sale as a going concern.

Asked about the future of the store, Mr Minton said he was “happy to talk,” but had been instructed by head office not to say anything while its affairs were being addressed.

The store, run from a unit in St Nicholas Street off London Road, has positioned itself as the “premier motorcycle accessories store in the area.”

For the time being, the Carlisle branch remains open and it’s business as usual.

The store has been growing its customer base under Mr Minton who took charge on a self-employed basis over three years ago.

It sells items like helmets, boots, jackets and clothing, among other accessories.

It’s been highly proactive in the community with staff and customers involved in charity motorbike rides every month for a variety of causes.

Just this week, Mr Minton handed over a cheque for £145 to the Eden Valley Hospice. It has also organised fund-raisers for the air ambulance and stillbirth charity Sands on the first anniversary of the death of baby Alfie-Joe Pattinson, from Carlisle, who was born asleep in April last year.

A statement from Hein Gericke UK’s Harrogate HQ said: “Due to difficult trading conditions the group is saddened to share the news that Hein Gericke UK is now trading in administration whilst the future of the UK operation is determined and hopefully secured. All 47 stores are open and a closing down sale with massive price cuts is being launched in-store.”

Joint administrators are insolvency practitioners Moorfields Corporate Recovery in London.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator, said: “Whilst the ongoing economic pressures have affected sales in recent years I am confident the business model has a lot of potential with a dedicated customer base and staff who are obviously passionate about the company.”

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