Halfords boosted by staycations and cycling boom
Halfords has posted a 5% uplift in like-for-like sales in the 20 weeks to 21 August after it benefited from a new web platform, staycations and more people cycling during the coronavirus crisis.
While like-for-like sales of cycling products climbed by 59.1%, electric bikes and scooters saw particularly strong growth with a year-on-year sales increase of 230%.
Meanwhile, its motoring business saw its like-for-like sales decline by 28.6% in the 20-week period but returned to growth in August.
Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive, said: “It has been especially encouraging to see our investments in key strategic initiatives both drive, and enable, such a resilient performance, allowing us to capitalise on favourable market shifts. In the last 12 months we have tripled our investment in the ongoing development of our web platform to enable a dramatic shift to online ordering, with sales up 160% year-on-year and representing 54% of total revenue in the period. We have also reaped the benefits in motoring services of a more scaled operation, a group web platform, a best-in-class digital operating model in our garages and a new media campaign to raise awareness of our unique proposition. And our strategic focus on B2B channels continues to drive strong double-digit growth.”
Despite the strong performance, Halfords said it is remaining cautious on the outlook for the rest of the year due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the impact of Covid-19. The retailer is expecting its first half profit to be in the range of £35 million to £40 million, although it said second half profits could be lower due to cycling and staycations being less popular in the winter months.
Stapleton added: “Looking further ahead, we are confident in the long-term strategy of our business and in the growth prospects of the cycling and motoring markets in which we operate.”
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