Halfords performs u-turn on bicycles

National car maintenance to bike retailer Halfords is to turn its stand-alone bike stores back into general Halfords following disappointing sales.

 National car maintenance to bike retailer Halfords is to turn its stand-alone bike stores back into general Halfords following disappointing sales.

The retailer says its Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores will either be rebranded Halford’s using its metro format or closed “where necessary” at a cost of £1.2m.

It revealed its plans today (April 16) after reporting a 3% drop in group sales in the 13 weeks to March 27 compared to the same period last year. It says its superstore format and online sales have cannibalised sales at its bike stores, which means it believes the format won’t deliver “the absolute levels of financial return demanded of Halford’s investments”.

The retailer says it has begun a programme to reduce costs by £10m and will focus on investing in its store portfolio, cost control, extending its range and service offer and driving its “multichannel” sales.

Chief executive David Wild says the group will now focus on expansion into central Europe and “multi-channel activity” as areas “that are generating significant sales growth.”

The consolidation of its bike stores marks a return to the retailer’s original strategy of offering all its ranges under one roof.

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