Online Presence Drives Halfords UK Sales
REDDITCH, UK – Despite poor summer weather and uncertainty on the British economy, Halfords UK reports a 7% increase in cycling sales to GBP 245.5 million (€ 277m) in the past 6 months. Especially Halfords’ online presence through Cycle Republic and Tredz contributed to the positive results.
Halfords’ cycling sales increased 2% on like-for-like basis for the 26 weeks to 29 September 2017. Thanks to the first-time results inclusion of Tredz and Wheelies (acquired in May 2016) and newly opened Cycle Republic stores, Halfords could report a 7% increase in total cycling sales. Though the Halfords Group’s total revenue increased by 3.8%, profit shrank by 9.8%.
Strong e-bike sales
“We did not repeat the strong expansion of last year, which drove strong volume growth in 2016, but the volume decline for the first half of this year was more than offset by the increase in average selling prices,” explained Halfords CFO and interim CEO Jonny Mason at the presentation of the results this morning. Still Halfords reports particularly strong e-bike sales, reflecting the popularity of the company’s new own-brand ranges launched at the beginning of the year.
“We have opened three new Cycle Republic stores this year and now have 18 fully operational,” said Jonny Mason. “We are encouraged by the continued double-digit like-for-like sales growth and also the success of the transactional website since launch in August last year. This webstore contributed approximately 15% of the total Cycle Republic sales in the first half. We expect to grow the number of Cycle Republic stores in the future.”
Improved online presence
In the past months Halfords made several upgrades to their websites, focusing on making the customer journey more seamless on mobile devices. These improvements contributed to a 22% increase in the total value of orders made through mobile devices, year-on-year.
The company’s profit was negatively impacted by increasing costs, including the weaker pound sterling. Halfords UK expects no further depreciation in the value of the pound for the second half of its fiscal year.
Investments in customer data and product availability
To sustain the company’s future market presence, Halfords has been rapidly improving its customer data knowledge and capability, gathering some 6.5 million email addresses within their stores over the last 24 months. As part of its retail strategy Halfords’ claims to “put customers in the driving seat.”
“We are investing in customer data and insight capabilities to maximise the lifetime customer value,” said Jonny Mason “Through a combination of e-receipts, tokenisation and improved data matching across 21 different data sources in our company, we can now match 54% of transactions to customers in retail. Across the Group, we can now match 67% of transactions to customers.
Halfords also improved its product availability with the opening of a third distribution centre which is now fully operational.