Bike sales buck High Street Christmas gloom, according to figures from Halfords
As retailers across the spectrum struggle, Britain's biggest bike retailer posts strong growth in cycling sales
Bicycles appear to be one of the few product categories to have broken the gloom among Britain’s bealeagured High Street retailers according to figures released today by Halfords.
The country’s largest bike retailer, which also specialises in motoring products, said that cycling like-for-like revenues – which excludes the impact of new stores and therefore provides a direct comparison with the previous year – rose by an impressive 15.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to 30 December. Overall group like-for-like sales were down 4.8 per cent in the period.
David Wild, Halfords chief executive officer, said the company is “continuing to grow market share in the Cycles category through the launch of new ranges and the introduction of new products. This Christmas we saw a recovery in Children’s Bikes and strong sales of Accessories.”
That performance helped Halfords leisure division being one of only two segments of the business – the other was Halfords Autocentres – to grow sales during the period, as well as during the nine months to the end of December.
Christmas is the key trading period of the year for most retailers, and few have been able to grow sales at a time when job losses, a squeeze on disposable income and lack of confidence over the wider economy have combined to put a rein on consumer spending, with even supermarket giant Tesco announcing a drop in like-for-like sales over the festive period.