Halford's chain of eight standalone Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores are soon to be no-more. One, in York, is to close while the other seven will become high street branches of Halfords.
The news was announced along with the company's annual results this week, and according to the Halfords' finance director, Nick Wharton, it was not an admission of failure, pointing out to the Financial Times that they had only closed one store.
The independent Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores were an experiment started by the previous regime in charge of Halfords back in 2007 as a way of boosting the company's sales of high end bikes. The current management however think that a revamped website and a bigger bike presence in more stores would be a more effective way of achieving that goal.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.