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Halfords highlights cycling as strong leader of recent growth

2 min read

15 July 2015

Former editor

The surge in popularity of cycling in the UK has had a positive impact on sales figures at automotive and leisure products and services business Halfords, the company’s most recent financial figures show.

In a statement to the stock market, Halfords revealed its premium bikes and cycle repair offerings registered sales growth of eight per cent and 24 per cent respectively, for the 13-week period to 3 July 2015.

Underlying like-for-like growth over its entire retail operation stood at +4.2 per cent (adjusting for the timing of easter), while the parts and workshop sections of its car maintenance offering saw growth of seven per cent and ten per cent.

Jill McDonald, who became CEO of Halfords in March 2015 after serving as UK & president, North West Division, Europe for McDonald’s Corporation, said: “Our retail business continues to deliver a broad-based top-line performance, against two previous years of strong like-for-like growth.

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“Cycling continues to grow; the highlights in the quarter being premium bikes and cycle repair. In May we opened our fifth Cycle Republic store in Nottingham and there are further openings planned across the country.”

Halfords has 468 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and is currently operating a “Getting Into Gear” plan for its retail business. This includes five areas it sees as key to delivering a “significantly-enhanced customer experience”. Included are: the service revolution, the H factor, stores fit to shop, 21st century infrastructure and click with the digital future.

“Our Getting Into Gear plan continues to progress with pace, and we’re on track with the retail trading initiatives and autocentres priorities we outlined in June,” McDonald added.

Other recent developments at Halfords included the poaching of its CFO by easyJet in April. Having worked at Halfords for four years, Findlay was the second major executive departure in six months after previous CEO Matt Davies left to become head of Tesco’s UK operations.