Tag Archive | "Halfords"

BUSINESS GEARS UP FOR MOT EXTENSION END

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BUSINESS GEARS UP FOR MOT EXTENSION END


The six month extension for the MOT on light vehicles will end on August 1st.

This means that for vehicles with certificates that expire between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will still be extended by six months. This includes vehicles that are due their first MOT test.

MOTs due on or after 1 August 2020 will not be extended, and the vehicle owner must book an MOT as usual.

However, DVSA has stated that if a vehicle owner is self-isolating or being advised to shield, they do not need to take their vehicle for its MOT. Instead, they should ask if an MOT centre can collect and return their vehicle, or register their vehicle as off the road, as they will still need a valid MOT.

READ: TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

The decision to end the extension has been welcomed by garages, insurance companies and road safety groups alike. Andy Randall Managing Director from Halfords Autocentres said: “October and the winter months, are going to be much busier than normal when motorists will be joining millions of others who have held off getting their MoT done. The MoT test remains the best way to ensure vehicles are safe to drive.”

READ: HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN

Kelly Wilkins, Head of Service at Insure The Box commented: “We welcome the introduction of [MOT] testing; the onus of regularly checking a vehicle falls within the drivers remit, and as such, safety can be maintained by performing simple checks. However, the vast majority of drivers lack the expertise to identify significant issues and underlying problems a driver may encounter with their vehicle”.

 

 

 

 

 

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£25m BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN FOR HALFORDS

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£25m BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN FOR HALFORDS


Halfords has secured a £25m funding package to help the business recover from the crisis.

The money comes from the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and was granted by the Redditch retailer’s existing consortium of lenders, including HSBC.

READ: HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN

Like all businesses, Halfords was hit by the crisis, although as it is a bike shop most of its retail stores were able to remain at least partially open and its Autocentre garage network stayed open offered a contactless vehicle  pick up and delivery service

Loraine Woodhouse, Chief Financial Officer at Halfords, said: “While our market-leading motoring and cycling businesses have strong macro tailwinds, this additional contingency funding gives us even greater confidence in our ability to trade our way successfully through the current uncertain environment. We would like to thank our lenders for their ongoing support.”

READ: NEW €4bn+ BID FOR OSRAM

Akhil Shah, Relationship Director at HSBC UK, added: “Like all retaiHalfordslers, the business has faced unprecedented challenges. As the lockdown restrictions ease and more of its stores open, this additional funding gives Halfords the confidence and the headroom to continue serving its customers effectively.”

 

 

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HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN

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HALFORDS LAUNCH EARLY BOOKING MOT CAMPAIGN


Halfords Autocentres has predicted MOT bookings will peak at 85 percent over the average in October. The garage network has carried out analysis across the industry which suggests that an additional 1.7m drivers will try to book their MOT in October, on top of the normal demand of about two million vehicles. 

READ: TRADE BODIES WELCOME END TO MOT EXTENSION

Accordingly, the network has launched a campaign to get motorists to book their vehicles in early, regardless of whether they have time left on their MOT extension. The initiative will focus on concerns some motorists may have about their vehicles being roadworthy after a period of idleness. 

READ: HALFORDS INTRODUCE ZERO CONTACT MOBILE SERVICE

Andy Randall Managing Director from Halfords Autocentres said: “We’re urging drivers to beat the rush and book their vehicles in this summer. October and the winter months, are going to be much busier than normal when motorists will be joining millions of others who have held off getting their MOT done. Our research shows that almost half of motorists are worried about the roadworthiness of other cars on the road so those that get theirs done can be much more confident that their cars are properly roadworthy. The MOT test remains the best way to ensure vehicles are safe to drive.”

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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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