Specialist bike retailer shifts gear to achieve international ambitions

Rotherham-based specialist bike retailer Planet X has secured a £1.5m trade finance facility, alongside a range of additional support totalling £3.225m from Santander UK.

The business, which operates solely online and sells bikes designed by its own in-house team, has mainly UK-based customers, with around 73% of its turnover coming from UK based sales.

But it wants to increase its international sales from current levels of 22% of turnover from Europe and 5% from the rest of the world.

The £1.5m trade finance facility allows Planet X to drive international growth, providing the company with the confidence to manage supply chains.

In 2020, the 25-year-old company’s 50 employees acquired the business from its founders and set up an Employee Owned Trust.

Trevor Parker, director of the firm, said: “The Santander team is excellent, their understanding of our Employee Owned Trust business model gives us great confidence and adds commercial value to our decision making.

“By listening and understanding our concerns, they were able to present practical solutions to overcome them.

“With this funding we can react to the changing market, both in terms of Brexit and COVID-19, and our supply chain is now extended.”

Santander team says its team will continue to work closely with the company as it increases its online sales capacity to help meet heightened demand both in the UK and internationally.

Andrew Russell, relationship director at Santander UK, said: “Planet X has a proven track record in the cycling world of delivering quality bikes and accessories at competitive prices and continues to be a great success story.

“We’re delighted to be chosen as their banking partner and look forward to working with them to realise their growth strategy and expand into new territories.”