Jul 7, 2020

Bike sales boom fails to offset car business slide at Halfords

A boom in bike sales during lockdown has not been enough to offset the impact on Halfords' more profitable car business, but the retailer remains optimistic for motoring revenues as car journeys rise and consumers shun public transport. The auto parts to bicycles chain, which remained open during lockdown as a retailer of essential parts, said on Tuesday that cycling sales had risen almost 60 per cent on a same-store basis in the 13 weeks to July 3, as consumers avoided public transport and turned to biking to get out in the good weather. Revenues at the retailer's more profitable car business dropped 45.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis over the same period, however. Graham Stapleton, chief executive, said the fall in motor part sales was not just driven by the drop in car journeys across the UK but also because "Dark stores", where customers are served at the entrance rather than being allowed in stores, made it harder to sell items such as car radios. He said car parts sales had improved in recent weeks, adding: "There's every reason to think that when lockdown is fully eased there could even be more cars on the road than before because more people want to use private transport."

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