Tag Archive | "Halfords"

CAUTIOUS ‘RETAIL LITE’ REOPENING OF HALFORDS STORES

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CAUTIOUS ‘RETAIL LITE’ REOPENING OF HALFORDS STORES


Halfords has announced it is reopening 53 of its stores across the country with extensive social distancing measures in place, using an operating model that has been called ‘Retail Lite’.

The re-openings follow successful trials at its Peterborough and Bristol Cribbs Causeway stores and will be the first time that customers have been allowed instore since the lockdown was put in place in the UK.

READ: HALFORDS TO INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ SERVICING

Having been granted ‘essential retailer’ status, 335 of Halfords’ 446 retail stores have until now been operating under a Dark Store model during the lockdown. This means that customers have been unable to browse and instead have been placing orders with Halfords colleagues outside the front of the store.

While the majority of Halfords’ stores will continue to operate as Dark Stores for the time being, there are plans to gradually convert and reopen them under the new “Retail Lite” model. However, the firm has stated that there is no timetable or deadline in place for doing so and the pace will instead be dictated entirely by the ‘company’s confidence that it can keep its colleagues and customers safe’.

READ: HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

“We are pleased to be in a position to start letting our customers back into our stores”, said Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords. “However, we are going to be reopening them to our customers gradually and cautiously in order to be absolutely certain that our colleagues and customers have a safe environment in which to work and shop”.

Halfords reported a sharp rise in the number of customers wanting bikes and related products since lockdown began.

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HALFORDS INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ MOBILE SERVICE

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HALFORDS INTRODUCE ‘ZERO CONTACT’ MOBILE SERVICE


Halfords is now offering a contactless garage service for any motorists that are self-isolating and staying indoors. Technicians from Halfords’ Mobile Vans fleet, which includes its Mobile Expert and Tyres On The Drive services, are offering customers the option of having car repairs and fittings done outside their homes or on their drives without coming into contact with anyone.

The motoring services retailer has today set up an option to support customers if they are self-isolating or don’t want to come into contact with anyone.

Halfords’ mobile service van

It means that Tyres on The Drive customers can have their tyres changed and repaired, while Mobile Expert customers can have their car battery replaced, oil changed and windscreen chips repaired amongst other services. In total there are 73 Tyres On The Drive vans and eight Halfords Mobile Expert vans.

After booking online or through a phone call customers will need to ensure their vehicle is parked in a suitable location and pre-agree a safe drop stop for their keys and locking wheel nut. The mobile van technician will then call to confirm the pre-agreed location and then carry out the job. After the service or fitting is complete the customer will receive communication on their phone and can inspect the work, while the technician remains at a safe distance in the van. All technicians wear a new pair of disposable gloves for each individual job.

Karl Baker from Halfords who is responsible for the service says: “By introducing a contact-free fittings and repairs service, we believe we will give customers who are staying indoors or self-isolating the option of still being able to drive when they really need to, while also protecting our technicians.”

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HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY

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HALFORDS FORM BUYING PARTNERSHIP WITH FRENCH ALLY


UK accessory and parts chain Halfords has announced a new ‘strategic partnership’ with Mobivia, the French company behind European fast-fit brands including Norauto, ATU and Midas. 

The deal will see the two firms working together to source and purchase own-brand products, with the aim of streamlining development and expanding their ranges of motoring and cycling-related products. 

READ: HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHYS FOR £9.3M

Halfords

Deal with French firm to jointly source and develop new products

Mobivia is hopeful that the move will also benefit customers and consumers, claiming that it ‘will enable both companies to improve the quality and choice of products available’. Additionally, the firms have agreed to continue working with their existing supplier partners on a local and national level. 

Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton claims the new relationship will help the firm to serve ‘customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value’. 

The news comes following Halfords’ recent acquisition of Scottish garage network McConechy’s for £9.3 million, which Stapleton described at the time as ‘highly complementary’ to his company’s existing product and service offering. 

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

Halfords’ half-year financial results revealed a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

Mobivia was founded in 1970 as a Lille-based repairs and accessories store. Today, it represents nine brands and 27 start-ups across the automotive sector, with more than 23,000 employees, and 2000 workshops and stores in its network.

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HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

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HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M


Retail giant Halfords has acquired Scottish servicing chain McConechy’s in a deal worth £9.3 million.

McConechy’s is one of the UK’s largest servicing and MOT chains, employing roughly 330 people across 59 sites in Scotland and the north east of England. It is estimated to generate around £45 million in revenue, and will slot in alongside Halfords’ existing Autocentre, weFit and Mobile Expert servicing brands. 

The new deal has been described by Halfords boss Graham Stapleton as “highly complementary” to the firm’s existing range of product and service offerings. 

He added: “The vehicle servicing market is a £10 billion market, but one which remains highly fragmented, offering significant scope for Halfords’ trusted and recognised consumer brand to grow its market share considerably.”

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

The announcement comes as Halfords rounds up its half-year financial results, which reveal a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

The company blames the losses on a “challenging retail backdrop and tough weather comparators year-on-year”, but also acknowledges that further financial damage was prevented by “strategic investment, gross margin improvements and tight cost control”. 

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PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

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PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER


Halfords PLC, the company behind the retail chain and auto centres as well as specialist cycle shops Treadz and Cycle Republic, has announced its results for the year ending in March 2019.

Underlying profit before tax was down £12.8m on last year to £58.8m.

Halfords

Profits down at Halfords following a mild winter

Chairman Keith Williams noted a ‘disappointing fall in profit vs expectations’ which he put down to a mix of Brexit uncertainty and a mild winter. CEO Graham Stapleton expanded that the drop was also due to ‘weakened consumer confidence’ in the run up to Christmas, retail cost inflation as well as investment in ‘strategic opportunities’, such as the opening of a Boardman Performance Centre. The report also noted that operating costs both in retail and in the auto centres had increased, further reducing profitability.

However, it wasn’t all bad headlines for the retailer. Like-for-like cycle sales grew modestly, net debt was reduced by £6m to £81.8m and total Autocentres revenues were up £2.6 percent. Battery, bulb and blade fitting services at the retail outlets were also showing positive growth.

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EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

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EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS


Evans Cycles is to be sold by its private equity owner ECI Partners.

The cycle chain has been making a loss over the past two years, although ECI has perused a strategy of expansion.

At the time of writing bids have been invited for the firm, with Halfords being reported by Sky News as being among the front runners.

Halfords itself set up the Cycle Republic chain as a rival to Evans Cycles in 2014. Halfords has previously stated an aim for Cycle Republic is to double the number of branches.

In general terms, cycle retail on the High Street has been under pressure as there has been a willingness by consumers to buy mid to high-end bikes from non-traditional outlets, such as Go Outdoors or from sports shops such as Triathlon. Low-end family bikes have been under pressure from online retailers such as Wiggle, which one retail survey put as the UK’s second largest cycle retailer in August

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HALFORDS’ TV ADVERT BANNED BY ASA

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HALFORDS’ TV ADVERT BANNED BY ASA


A TV advert for retail giant Halfords has been found to break the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code.

The advert, seen in January, promoted the chain’s battery fitting service. The ad featured a sped-up view from the vehicle’s windscreen of a snow-covered road which suggested the vehicle was being driven at high speed around several curves and bends in the road, accompanied with engine sounds. On-screen text stated, “Ready for quick getaways? ‘WeFit’ batteries from £15.

Two complainants, who believed the advert encouraged unsafe driving practices in snowy conditions, challenged whether it was irresponsible.

HalfordsHalfords said that neither they nor their advertising agency believed that the TV ad showed dangerous driving. That was because the footage had been sped up to such an extent that it was clearly not real and therefore did not show unsafe driving practices.

However, the ASA disagreed: “Because we considered that speed was the main message of the ad and the sped-up footage gave the impression that the vehicle was being driven in a dangerous manner, we concluded the ad encouraged irresponsible driving” it said in a statement. As a result, the advert can’t be shown again in current form and Halfords has had its knuckles wrapped, having been told to ‘ensure that future ads did not portray speed or driving behaviour in a way that might encourage irresponsible driving’.

 

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HALFORDS INTERIM RESULTS: MODEST GROWTH IN ‘CHALLENGING CONDITIONS’

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HALFORDS INTERIM RESULTS: MODEST GROWTH IN ‘CHALLENGING CONDITIONS’


Retail chain Halfords has published interim results for 2018. This will be the first set of results released since CEO Jill McDonald finished working out her notice at the end of October.

The group published modest growth in most areas, during what it described as ‘challenging conditions’, citing the weak pound and disappointing summer weather as reasons for gross margin to be weaker than it could be.

Like-for-like sales in car accessories were down two percent, which the group blamed on the continuing slide in the sale of sat-navs (which now make up around three percent of accessory sales, down from a high of 20 percent). The results were offset to some extent by the continued growth in dashcam sales.

The number of pushbikes sold was lower than the previous period, but the sector still recorded growth as the bikes had a higher average price, helped in no small part by the increase in popularity of e-bikes, which are now available across the chain’s network. The report also mentioned that two new Cycle Republic stores opened during the period.

Jonny Mason, Chief Financial Officer & Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented: “It is pleasing to report positive sales growth for this period, despite the poorer summer weather and the uncertainty in the UK economy. We are also pleased with our profit performance in the half, as we offset a large part of the (circa) £15m increase in costs that resulted from the impact of the weaker pound. Looking ahead, we have strong plans both in-store and online for the Cyber, Christmas and winter peaks.”

Ex-Dixons Carphone boss, Graham Stapleton has been hired as the new CEO and is expected to start in January.

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CLIPPER LOGISTICS EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH HALFORDS

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CLIPPER LOGISTICS EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH HALFORDS


Halfords

New logistics agreement for Halfords

Retail giant Halfords has agreed a new eight-year contract with Clipper Logistics.

The latest partnership will see the Leeds-based logistics company provide additional ancillary services and warehouse space to Halfords at its distribution centre in Daventry.

The warehouse comprises in excess of 325,000 sq ft of capacity and has been developed as a multi-user facility, where the retailer will serve as a main customer.

“Clipper began its relationship with Halfords last year”, said Steve Parkin, Executive Chairman of Clipper. “I am delighted that we have been able to demonstrate our ability to act proactively as a team and to develop solutions which will make a real difference to the Halfords business”.

He added, “with Halfords represents a true partnership which we anticipate will continue to evolve. We are pleased to have finalised this long term contract to enable us to support their operations in the UK.”

Richard Street, Infrastructure Director at Halfords, said: “We are delighted with the partnership to date which has enabled us to consolidate all of our external storage and enhance pre-retail services.”.

Street said the firm’s other two distribution centres will be unaffected by this change and will continue their operations as normal.

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HALFORD’S RETAIL PERFORMS WELL, BUT CYCLE SALES DEFLATE

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HALFORD’S RETAIL PERFORMS WELL, BUT CYCLE SALES DEFLATE


Halfords_CEO

CEO of Halfords Jill McDonald

There are mixed results for big-box retailer Halfords as it announced a small overall rise in sales across it’s accessories, consumables and technology and another small rise in servicing and parts, but a decline in cycling revenue.

Most of the rise is due to a swell in sales of child seats, which enjoyed double-digit YOY growth. Car accessories overall rose by 4.4 percent, although ‘enhancement’ products such as sat-navs fell, although this was offset by a rise in dashcam sales.

The wet first half of the year also contributed to a 2.3 percent YOY rise in wiper and bulb sales. Perhaps surprisingly given the mild conditions, the group also posted steady results from battery sales.

However, the performance of car accessories couldn’t hide the fact that sales of bikes and related parts were down. Bikes make up around a third of Halfords’ total revenue and the company blamed the wet weather for a drop in sales. “Casual cyclist don’t like the wet weather, and there is not a lot we can do about that” CEO Jill McDonald was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. The company plans to give bikes a shot in the arm with a 20 percent discount in August and new ranges branded by Olympians Laura Trott and Bradley Wiggins.

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