Halford's chain of eight standalone Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores are soon to be no-more. One, in York, is to close while the other seven will become high street branches of Halfords.
The news was announced along with the company's annual results this week, and according to the Halfords' finance director, Nick Wharton, it was not an admission of failure, pointing out to the Financial Times that they had only closed one store.
The independent Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores were an experiment started by the previous regime in charge of Halfords back in 2007 as a way of boosting the company's sales of high end bikes. The current management however think that a revamped website and a bigger bike presence in more stores would be a more effective way of achieving that goal.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.