I stubbled across a post from a Guardian piece written by a guy called oozaveared http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/05/raleigh-sale-not-end-of-road
that sums things up nicely...
I am a keen cyclist and frankly Raleigh haven't kept up. They gave up. They kept trying to provide "ordinary" bicycles to the masses. Well the Chinese can do that much more cheaply. And they did. There are British companies making excellent bikes that people want to buy BECAUSE they are excellent, nice to ride and up to date.
The choice as with all retail at the moment is to be either Chic or Cheap. Chic is difficult. it requires good design and technological advance. Cheap is easier. Raleigh chose to be cheap and they were out cheaped.
Raleigh could have survivved but refused to be specialist, high end, or interesting. They continued to live in a world where people bought good sturdy bikes to get to work on and nothing else. They were boring and backward and as cycling has now had a renaissance with ever increasing numbers taking it uop for health, environmental, economic and pure fun reasons Raleigh cycles just don't appeal.
If you want chaep, there's cheaper. If you want style there's more stylish, if you want fun, there's far more exciting, if you want performance Raleigh don't even live in the same postcode.
In essence they are still trying to sell the equivalent of Ford Anglias.
The lesson from history is a stark one. Adopt, adapt, improve or be superseded.