Halfords’ Cycling Division Growth Boosted by E-Bikes
REDDITCH, UK – Halfords’ trading update for the 20 weeks to August 18th show cycle repairs, staycations (holidays in the UK) and e-bike sales are all driving a cycling division growth rate that topped 5%.
Bike racks for cars were also singled out as a growth area – part of a ‘Travel Solutions’ sector identified by the latest financials as having grown by 8.2%.
Dramatic decline in the number of IBDs
Halfords’ rapidly expanding high street chain Cycle Republic will no doubt have contributed to the strong cycling growth as will online sales from the likes of acquisition Tredz.
Another factor that could have boosted their in-store sales is the dramatic decline in the number of IBDs in the UK, forced out of business by price undercutting from online rivals. Halfords’ own research suggests some 10% of UK IBDs have gone to the wall over the last twelve months.
However, Halfords appears to be stealing some tricks from online retailers and applying them to its bricks and mortar outlets – for example strong ‘Click & Collect’ sales mean customers will then come into Halfords stores for advice on their online purchases. Halfords also say they can now match 50% of sales to a specific customer, up from just 3% in November 2015.
Current success keys
Enhancing staff skills and keeping hold of those staff has been another plank of their current success key to keeping customers visiting their stores happy.
Around 70% of Halfords Group sales are generated from products and services that are principally motoring related with the remaining 30% coming from cycling.
Outgoing Halford’s Chief Executive Jill Mcdonald leaves next month to become head of clothing, home and beauty at Marks & Spencer with no successor at Halfords yet announced.