Cycling is continuing to drive growth at Halfords, with the retailer confirming today that the category had seen sales increase by 16 per cent during the first half of its current financial year. The business has also confirmed plans to open between 20 and 30 London stores under its Cycle Republic brand, which will also be rolled out to towns and cities across the UK.
During the 26 weeks to 26 September 2014, the car accessories to bicycles chain achieved total revenue of £524.1 million, a 6.8 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year. Pre-tax profits were up 11 per cent to £49.4 million.
The period saw Halfords launch its new 13 range of bikes, and in June it bought Boardman Bikes, sold through its stores since the brand was launched in 2007. The company said that it is now the biggest retailer of Pinarello bikes in Europe.
Chief executive Matt Davies described Boardman Bikes as “a brand that continues to resonate with cyclists,” and said that acquiring it not only made “good financial sense, with significantly-reduced royalty payments,” but also gave rise to “a real opportunity to develop the brand even further with Chris Boardman and his team.”
He added: “The creation and launch of our new 13 brand at the end of the period gives us further confidence in our ability to execute the rollout of Cycle Republic from December 2014, starting in London. Cycle Republic is an innovative new cycling-only store format that we plan to roll out in a number of Britain’s towns and cities over the medium term.”
Areas within cycling that saw particularly strong sales growth during the year included premium bikes, up 40.4 per cent, with the premium end of the Boardman range up 49.0 per cent. However, the company said that at 12.4 per cent, “Cycle Repair sales growth was lower than anticipated and is an area of focus in the second half, with continued investment in equipment, capability and training.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.