Halfords report a staggering 230% increase in e-bike and scooter sales

REDDITCH, UK - A couple of months ago Halfords, the UK’s largest bricks and mortar cycle retailer, posted Q2 results for the 13 weeks to July 3rd showing an incredible 57.1% like-for-like growth in cycling sales. Now they’ve reported a 230% year-on-year increase in e-bike and scooter sales. But will the ‘Covid effect’ last?
Halfords operates around 465 stores in the UK, with a divided focus on cycling and motoring. - Photo Shutterstock

In updated results from Halfords they have continued the good news as the company’s cycle sales (including P&A) rose by 59.1% in the 20-week period to 21 August. Sales of electric bikes and scooters clearly powered much of that growth with a staggering 230% year-on-year increase.

Cycling profiting at expense of motoring

The figures were in stark contrast to the equivalent figures for Halfords motoring division which showed a 28.6% decline to August 21st. Halfords says that traditionally its sales show a split of around 66% in favour of its motoring division with its cycle division making up the remaining third. Overall group revenue rose by 7.5% during the period, with the retailer expecting pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of September to be between £35m and £40m, compared with £27.5m in the same period last year.

Importance of Tredz

Having announced the closure of Cycle Republic during the year, the Halfords and Tredz cycling brands are responsible for much of the boost in cycling sales. Halfords describe Tredz as “an online-focused business, with high brand equity and a lower-cost operating model, serving the performance cycling market”. The company adds that “the majority of bikes and scooters sold by Halfords are own-brand. These brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman. However, we support our ranges with other selected third-party brands, such as Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Cube, Scott, Haibike, Brompton, G-tech and Xiaomi.”

Uncertainty about further impact of COVID-19

Of course, the question now is if the Covid-inspired boom will continue into the autumn and even winter or whether the changing weather will have its usual dampening effect on the statistics. Halfords sounded a cautious note with CEO Graham Stapleton saying “there is still significant uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19 and the macro-economic environment in the coming months, and as a result, we are cautious on the outlook for the remainder of this year.”