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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.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

4 comments

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
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It's great that bike sales are up, but Halfords!!!

Seriously, I only go into my local store for brake pads and lube and even then I say to the teller every visit - "Can you tell your manager you'd get more cyclists in if you actually had a bike rack outside please"

I had one of their twonks tell me the groove in the middle of the rim on a (fairly) new wheel was a sign I'd worn my pads down to the metal!

I resisted the urge to get into a "what's true for cars doesn't necessarily carry over" conversation and just left.

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nickdt [8 posts] 4 years ago
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As you say. It's great bike sales are up. Halfords bashing is easy, but let's not forget, "twonks" exist in all areas, they are not exclusive to Halfords, nor is Halfords staffed exclusively by " twonks". Halfords have a part to play in the growth of cycling and rather than being critical, we should recognise that they and other large multiples, have a part to play. I feel sure we all have apocryphal tales of bad advice and service from all areas of the bike retail industry, and equally, , good tales, including good service from Halfords.
In my mind, as a cyclist, I welcome increased sales as a good thing.

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bikecellar [268 posts] 4 years ago
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nickdt wrote:

As you say. It's great bike sales are up. Halfords bashing is easy, but let's not forget, "twonks" exist in all areas, they are not exclusive to Halfords, nor is Halfords staffed exclusively by " twonks". Halfords have a part to play in the growth of cycling and rather than being critical, we should recognise that they and other large multiples, have a part to play. I feel sure we all have apocryphal tales of bad advice and service from all areas of the bike retail industry, and equally, , good tales, including good service from Halfords.
In my mind, as a cyclist, I welcome increased sales as a good thing.

+ 1

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
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@nickdt

Very fair comment

I guess Halfords suffers from it's size - any company that big almost has to have a number of duffers working for it, eh?