Halfords cites ‘Wiggins effect’ for sales spike

Halfords has cited the Bradley Wiggins effect for helping drive a near 15 per cent (14.7 per cent) boost in sales of bikes in the second quarter, leading to a better than expected lift in overall retail sales.

Bradley Wiggins
Halfords says success of British cyclists has spurred bike sales growth.

Sales in stores open a year or more increased 5.6 per cent in the three months to 28 September, compared with a 7.5 per cent decrease in the first quarter. The retailer said Team GB Tour de France and Olympic success and better weather than previous months encouraged consumers to buy products to get more active.

Halfords saw strong sales of its recently launched (Victoria) Pendleton and (Sir Chris) Boardman ranges, named after two of Team GB’s gold medal-winning cyclists.

The chain plans to invest more in training its customer service staff to drive growth in the medium term. It has recently recruited more than 450 fitting staff and retrained existing colleagues to help grow sales of its “wefit” solutions.

The company predicts its pre-tax profits for the first half to be between £40m and £42m – around 20 per cent higher than analysts’ expectations, also driven by better performances in its car maintenance arm and Autocentres business – while full year profit is forecast to be between £62m and £70m as it invests in further training of its customer service staff to drive growth in the coming months.

The results will serve as a warm welcome to new chief executive Matt Davies, who joined the chain yesterday (3 October) from Pets At Home, where he held the same role. He replaced David Wild who left in July, shortly after Halfords issued a profit warning as record rainfall affected sales of outdoor products.

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