It's been hinted at over the past month or so and adverts have been cropping up in consumer cycle press, but Halfords has now officially set out its battle plan to capture more revenue from the bike parts, accessories and clothing sectors by introducing 15,000 new lines from over 180 brands to www.halfords.com.
That growth represents a ten-fold increase in the number of P&A and clothing products Halfords is offering.
It's not just online either. Halfords is introducing a far wider range of clothing into stores that will 'herald the biggest change to the look of many larger Halfords stores'.
New store layouts will include changing rooms, mannequins and clothing display rails across over 100 branches with garments from Adidas, Gore, Craft, Primal and Sportful included in the extended range.
Karen Bellairs, head of cycles at Halfords, said: "Family cycling remains at the core of Halfords product ranges, but we are seeing exciting growth from female cyclists, commuters, and enthusiasts. Many of these people already buy their bikes from us so it makes sense for us to become a ‘one-stop-shop for cyclists’, saving them time and money.”
Key areas targeted by the retailer include premium cycle accessories, clothing, footwear and nutrition. The new products range from high-end high-tech weather-proof jackets, to health and fitness supplements such as protein bars, gels and tablets designed to aid rapid muscle recovery from exercise. Parts from pro-rider suppliers like Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano are also included in the extended offering too.
So, why now for the move from Halfords? The retailer has already alluded to 'escalating competition' from online competition following its latest set of financial results where profits after tax fell significantly after tax. Halfords has also mentioned the growth of the UK cycling market "approximately five per cent a year and worth £1.4 billion annually". Halfords also mentioned the 'Wiggo effect' from Sir Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and Team GB's success at the 2012 London Olympics.
Interestingly, Halfords also cited the increasing commuter market, pointing out the Government census figures that showed the number of people cycling to work has soared to 760,000 in England and Wales.
The move comes nine months after a new man – Matt Davies – took the helm of the business.