Halfords buys Boardman Bikes

Chris Boardman to remain as chairman and design director following multimillion pound deal

by Simon_MacMichael   June 5, 2014  

Halfords barrier logo 3x2 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Halfords, Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer, has bought Boardman Bikes for a reported sum of between £10 and £15 million. Former world and Olympic champion Chris Boardman, who founded the business, will continue to be involved with it.

The car accessories to bicycles retailer will continue to sell the Boardman Performance Series on an exclusive basis, while the premium Boardman Elite Series, which isn’t sold in Halfords stores, will still be available through independent bike shops.

“There are absolutely no plans to change this,” says Halfords, which adds that Boardman Bikes will be a standalone entity within the group and that Boardman himself will remain as chairman and design director, with Andy Smallwood as Managing Director.

Matt Davies, chief executive of Halfords, said: “Our investment in Boardman Bikes, which have been ridden by multiple Olympic and world champions, demonstrates our growing position as a
specialist cycling retailer.

“We have worked with Chris and his team since 2007; they have created one of the most important, fastest-growing and successful brands in UK cycling. We look forward to a continuation of the growth that both Boardman and Halfords have enjoyed with such a strong brand.”

Boardman added: “On behalf of Boardman Bikes I am delighted by today’s news. We look forward to building on the success we have had to date with independent retailers, in international markets and with Halfords.

“This step will take the brand to the next level and their backing will allow us to further develop our research & development and extend our award winning cycling ranges.”

Halfords did not disclose financial details of the transaction although Reuters, citing “a source close to the company,” reported that the deal is worth in the range of £10-15 million.

Last month, revealing its 2013/14 financial results, Halfords said that cycling had delivered “an absolute stand-out performance” during the year, with sales of bikes and accessories up 42 per cent in the final three months alone.

17 user comments

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I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

posted by mad_scot_rider [548 posts]
5th June 2014 - 11:31

27 Likes

They do. At least the two I pop into occasionally have.

The one at South Shields also has a pump for free air now as well.

They can be quite handy for parts, especially as the web site has a much much larger selection than the stores, and can be collected from store within a day or two. Which is useful if you are out and deliveries from CRC/wiggle are inconvenient, or if you are buying lkit that you don't want the missus to know about (not that I would)

posted by gazza_d [211 posts]
5th June 2014 - 12:15

21 Likes

Ker-ching!

Boardman delivers a masterclass on going from rider to brand name to entrepreneur. Many try, only a few succeed!

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [267 posts]
5th June 2014 - 12:40

34 Likes

A certain Mr Hoy may be reading this article with interest.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [195 posts]
5th June 2014 - 12:51

18 Likes

mingmong wrote:
A certain Mr Hoy may be reading this article with interest.

I had understood that Evans owns the brand and that CH takes a royalty/ fee, as opposed to CH having set the thing up himself and it being distributed through Evans.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [553 posts]
5th June 2014 - 13:26

13 Likes

Standards now to head south?

gb901's picture

posted by gb901 [153 posts]
5th June 2014 - 13:26

9 Likes

Only time will tell what effect this has on the brand. I for one have always liked Bman bikes - you can tell Chris has the eye for detail even on the existing range sold through Halfords. I own Elite & Halfords Boardmans.

The Elite range must stay with the IBD's - customers need the expert advice that Halfords staff simply cannot give, and of course moving this would damage the IBD.

My worry is that Chris will leave or have very little to do with the brand. My future purchases are on hold until I see how this pans out.

posted by NeilXDavis [111 posts]
5th June 2014 - 14:07

8 Likes

Thats correct - Ive no idea why he would be interested in this news either.

posted by NeilXDavis [111 posts]
5th June 2014 - 14:09

16 Likes

Flying Scot wrote:

I had understood that Evans owns the brand and that CH takes a royalty/ fee, as opposed to CH having set the thing up himself and it being distributed through Evans.

Evans doesn't own the Hoy brand. Chris Hoy set up the brand and a partnership between Evans and Hoy to produce and retail the bikes was developed after that. Very similar to how Boardman and Halfords have worked in the past on the Halfords-ranged models, as far as I understand it.

posted by james-o [197 posts]
5th June 2014 - 14:26

11 Likes

gazza_d wrote:
They do. At least the two I pop into occasionally have.

Mine too. The Halfords at the Eastgate Centre in Bristol has four bike stands next to it (which are usually empty).

My nearest Evans, in the middle of Bristol, doesn't have any bike parking (and is on a three-lane one way system full of buses and HGVs). Mind you, it doesn't seem to have any customer car parking, either.

posted by brooksby [115 posts]
5th June 2014 - 14:33

12 Likes

It won't - and shouldn't - be long before there are stand alone Halfords Bike stores. Quality will begin to improve then until they are up there will the experts, like Evans !

posted by Beaufort [163 posts]
5th June 2014 - 18:09

9 Likes

Beaufort wrote:
It won't - and shouldn't - be long before there are stand alone Halfords Bike stores. Quality will begin to improve then until they are up there will the experts, like Evans !

They used to have standalone stores. In fact they had two different brands of them: Bike Hut and Cycle Republic. They closed them down 5 years ago.

posted by ped [165 posts]
5th June 2014 - 21:19

7 Likes

mad_scot_rider wrote:
I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

It's a bike shop, why would they have a problem with you bringing your bike in the shop?

It always annoys me that the bike stuff is upstairs, make the motorists take the stairs instead!

posted by Initialised [122 posts]
5th June 2014 - 21:32

9 Likes

mad_scot_rider wrote:
I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

True, but even if there were such at the one near me, I prefer to shoulder my bike and carry it through the store to the bike section on the mezzanine - staff are ok with this.

posted by Dr_Lex [140 posts]
6th June 2014 - 8:18

4 Likes

Initialised wrote:
mad_scot_rider wrote:
I've said it before, I'll take them far more seriously as a bike store once they have cycle parking facilities as standard outside their stores

It's a bike shop, why would they have a problem with you bringing your bike in the shop?

It always annoys me that the bike stuff is upstairs, make the motorists take the stairs instead!

There's a cycle surgery near me - it hadn't ocurred to me that the climbing section is on the ground floor, and the bikes upstairs!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
6th June 2014 - 10:27

4 Likes

Whatever happened to the deal where Halfords were going to retail Pinarello? Several LBS in my area dropped the brand when it was announced.

Well done Mr Boardman - hard working, knowledgable, professional and now I dare say quite wealthy!

cinelli Dave's picture

posted by cinelli Dave [10 posts]
8th June 2014 - 9:13

0 Likes

posted by Must be Mad [61 posts]
8th June 2014 - 11:35

0 Likes