HALFORDS make cycle specialist role redundant

by festival   February 27, 2010  

Confused As cycling is changing in most ways for the better and road bike riding is no longer just for the hardened club cyclist more of us have been tempted by the nations biggest retailer. No doubt most cyclists will have had mixed feelings when dealing with Halfords,but in recent times the carrera range and then the exceptional Boardmans have raised the bar.I know it was a bit hit and miss depending on which store you went to but if you where lucky you could have been served by an knowledgeable enthusiast who also knew how to run a bike shop. In my experience this was happening more and more . But it seems the bike huts will soon be managed by staff who are seen as potential store managers with no bike knowledge required. This position will be part of the development ladder to overall store manager. They will be the only full-time member of staff in bike hut, but as the role means he is 3rd in charge of the whole store he will be required to be involved with the other areas on a regular basis. The plan is to employ staff on 7 or 15 hour contracts to fill the gaps. e.g. 15 hours will probably be working 3 hours,over 5 days and a mix of 3 or 4 hours shifts overlapping at other times . Surly any gains Halfords have made over recent times are at risk.I wonder what Mr Boardman thinks ?

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I still struggle to believe that Halfords had a cycle specialist.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
28th February 2010 - 13:31


Jon Burrage wrote:
I still struggle to believe that Halfords had a cycle specialist.

certainly didn't from the one where i got my Boardman.

they did have a 16yr old who told me when i picked it up "ive pumped the tyres up". Thinking

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1097 posts]
28th February 2010 - 13:49


If they have the systems in place to run a store with staff on part-time basis then they will be fine.

Thing is Halfords have never had systems run in place by the staff it employed on minimum wage without systems training or cytec training; still they do well.

How much they save versus profit and lost sales will be a great interest for the competition.

Who will they employ on part time basis?

Elderly retired? A good thing maybe-better than some kid who doesn't care, students? some bright students will love it, or people working 2 part time roles at different workplaces who don't care.

Halfords have brought in a consultancy firm which also gave advice to Woolworths...hmmm.

If they want to maximise cover at busy hours and not have to pay a lunch break and manage to get a good part time staff then they will be fine-it could be a fantastic move. But the manager and full time staff have failed at this for years...

Look at the customer Halfords draw in -cheap bike for Billy on birthdays and xmas- bottom end never ridden. There are thousands of people like his-Halfords don't need to worry. They never focussed on serious cyclists until Boardman came along-which established could easily choose Evans or LBS now.

But while Halfords have messed their car parts business losing thousands of trades people, competitors have sneaked in and stolen their car parts business. Now they focus on consumables and fitting wiperblades and batteries as car owners save money Vs Garage prices.
But not all of us pay £12 for a bulb when Tesco will do it for £6.

Whoever closed the high street stores was moaned yet it is been their lifeline as their locations have helped easy access for drivers.

Asda, Tesco and now 'Go Outdoors' has a cycle section planned by an ex-Evans cycle store. They have also seen how Sears USA opened car gargaes successfully-shop and your car is serviced at the mall.

We'll just have to watch Halfords stock price and profit margins to see what happens as they may do very well or become the next Woolworths.

Even so-their profit margins and growth into Europe seems like it is going to plan despite the reputation and recession.

Halfords have their buying power and the name but there is competition that just needs a plan to take the market by storm and as customers-we can only benefit from healthy competition.

Zaskar's picture

posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
28th February 2010 - 15:32


Some stores were hit and miss but mainly miss lol.

Zaskar's picture

posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
28th February 2010 - 15:34


I agree and you seem well informed. A mate of mine was a proper specialist,worked in the trade for some of the leading retailers and manufacturers over the years and joined Halfords having been tempted by a previous regime only to be let down with broken promises about how they where going to take a big chunk of the premium market. (don't laugh he thought they were serious )He tells me its been a battle to run his bike hut anything like a decent bike shop over the years and is happy to get out.

posted by festival [106 posts]
28th February 2010 - 21:10