Halfords has signed a series of top name brands to relaunch its cycle parts, accessories and clothing category next year as it seeks to take on its specialist competitors.
Halfords has signed up 170 new brands including Adidas, Hi5, Northwave, Lezyne and Compagnolo. The retailer said its multichannel operation helped to attract the new names as it gives gives brands wide reach.
Halfords wants to increase the number of products in its cycle parts, accessories and clothing category from 1,700 to 13,000. SKUs in clothing will jump from 200 to 4,000 and cycling parts will grow by almost ten times from 750 to 6,000.
Halfords commercial director Paul McClenaghan said: “We are able to offer brands a huge reach across the UK. We have a solution for customers that want direct deliveries. Customers can choose from next day delivery and order and collect. No other cycle retailer offers that.”
Signing up new brands is a step in the right direction for the retailer which has previously been shunned by some brands for not being specialist enough. Some cycle enthusiasts have previously preferred specialists such as Wiggle or independent cycle shops.
McClenaghan said Halfords has seen a trend for shoppers to shop online for cycle accessories. He said: “They want convenience and to some extent they want the prices Halfords offer.”
Bike brands Cinelli and Tifosi have also signed up, increasing Halfords’ bike top end price range to £3,400.
Halfords said online sales surged 21.3% in its half-year period for the 26 weeks to September 28, representing 10.5% of retail sales, against 8.6% in the prior period. Sales on mobile devices represent 20% of all online sales.
The group today revealed a 23.4% slump in pre-tax profits to £41.9m.
The retailer has recruited a new team to peddle expansion. This follows last month’s appointment of new chief executive Matt Davies, former Pets at Home boss, replacing David Wild.
The cycle parts, accessories and clothing category will also expand in-store.
Chairman Dennis Millard said Halfords will use learnings from department store merchandising to change spacing in-store. He added: “Space in Halfords stores is not an issue. We have previously indicated that we had more than we need, so we will ensure the proposition works.”