The ECI Growth Survey

Ever since Brompton Bicycle started life in inventor Andrew Ritchie’s South Kesington flat in 1975, the company has been inextricably linked with west London.

However, with ambitions to grow annual sales to 100,000 of its famous folding bikes a year by 2021, the company briefly flirted with moving its manufacturing outside the capital for the first time, admits Stephen Loftus, the company’s sales and marketing director.

Our ability to make great bikes in a major city helps the brand. It’s more than Made in Britain, it’s Made in London.

Stephen Loftus, Sales and Marketing Director

As it drew up plans to double its factory space, necessity almost pushed Brompton beyond the M25, but in the end leaving home in London just proved too difficult: “What would happen if we moved out? We had that discussion. We realised our ability to make great bikes in a major city helps the brand. It’s more than Made in Britain, it’s Made in London. It’s our home and we’ve built an incredible skills base in the area.”

After an exhaustive and time consuming search, the company eventually found an 86,000 sq ft plant in Greenford, west London, to move into, which is nearly twice the size of its current base in nearby Brentford.

Mr Loftus says the company’s status as a city brand has helped power impressive sales among commuters overseas, with three quarters of its £34 million turnover coming from abroad. Asia is one of its key markets, and home to three of its Brompton Junction retail outlets.

Mr Loftus remains upbeat despite fears about slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy, China. “With the growing middle class, the long term opportunity is huge.”

100thousand

1975

£34million