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Bike sales dip at Halfords due to poor weather

Retailer hopes to benefit from Olympic effect in months ahead

Halfords, the UK’s largest cycling retailer, says that sales of bikes and accessories dipped in the 13 weeks to 1 July due to a combination of the timing of Easter and poor weather during April and the latter part of June.

While sales of premium bikes rose during the period, those of parts and accessories and what the retailer terms “mainstream bikes” fell.

In the cycling segment, like-for-like revenue – which strips out the impact of new or expanded stores – fell by 4 per cent.

Total revenue was up 2.1 per cent, with Autocentres seeing total growth of 5.9 per cent, and 3.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Chief executive Jill McDonald said: “This was a solid performance from our motoring categories, which account for around 70% of group sales, with continued growth in service-related sales, demonstrating Halfords’ credentials as a specialist retailer.

“In Autocentres our sales continued to grow through improvements in the customer offer. We had good sales growth of premium bikes but cycling sales across the quarter were impacted by both the timing of Easter and poor weather, particularly in April.

The company is hoping for a boost in sales of bikes and cycling-related products following next month’s Olympic Games, with the chief executive saying: “We look forward to the peak summer cycling season, including our exciting new ranges from Laura Trott and Sir Bradley Wiggins launched ahead of the Olympics.”

> Wiggins and Halfords launch kids’ bike range

She added:”While the recent decision to leave the EU does create uncertainty, we are well-positioned as a business and focused on delivering sustainable long-term growth.”

The company now operates 462 Halfords and 11 Cycle Republic stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.

> Trott bike range comes to Halfords

Simon joined 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.

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