Retail Chain Halfords has revealed to BikeBiz that the bicycle market was once again a key driver of growth for the firm, following its annual Preliminary Results for the 52 weeks up to April 2nd.
Chief executive David Wild said: “We have had a great year on bikes. It was the fastest growing category and our sales were up by more than 15 per cent compared to the previous year.”
Wild also hailed the growth of online and multi-channel sales, which the chief exec said had complemented significant growth in cycle repairs and servicing through Wefit and Werepair.
He told BikeBiz: “Online is continually growing. It’s important for customers, particularly for our premium bike consumers. They like to look at a product before they make a purchasing decision, and Halfords.com – with our Reserve and Collect service – is a big driver for cycling sales.
“What makes the difference is that 80 per cent of our online transactions are linked to a store. It’s a powerful combination for us.”
“Servicing and repairs income grew 44 per cent – up to nearly half a million bike repairs last year. It’s a big improvement on where we’ve been in the past. We offer customers a care plan. It’s effectively a three-year labour guarantee and sales of that are up are nearly up 60 per cent. It’s making really good progress.”
Earlier in the financial year Halfords made some contentious changes to the cycle staff structure in-store. When asked about how those changes had affected Halford’s cycle offering, Wild said: “We feel much better that we’ve taken bikes much more seriously. All our big Bike Hub centres now have a dedicated manager and it’s a requirement for future store managers to have been a Bike Hut manager themselves. So we’re improving customer service within Bike Hut and we’re also improving the bike literacy of our general managers.”
Halfords: 01527 513121