Motor accessories and cycles specialist Halfords is on the hunt for a head of mergers and acquisitions as it strives to bolster its offer.

The newly created position, which has been advertised with a salary of up to £100,000, signals the retailer’s ambitions to snap up more businesses following its acquisition of car servicing firm Nationwide Autocentres in February for £73m.

The role demands the “identification and evaluation of potential M&A targets”.

A Halfords spokesman said: “Halfords is looking to hire someone who will help it pursue its stated acquisition strategy for high-quality, domestic assets with adjacent capabilities to Halfords’ existing business.”

KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said the hiring was “quite a statement of intent” from Halfords. He said the tough trading environment was likely to flush out opportunities among companies that would benefit from Halfords’ scale and ability to invest.

Halfords has been linked to various potential deals in recent months. It circled arts and crafts group HobbyCraft, for which it is understood to have submitted an 11th-hour offer before the niche retailer’s sale to private equity house Bridgepoint for £120m.

Other retailers that Halfords is said to be eyeing include the online bikes specialist Wiggle, but the latter’s owner, Isis, has dismissed the speculation.