Halfords boosts children's range

Halfords is shifting up a gear in the tots' travel and leisure market, with plans to roll new kids' zones out ahead of the Christmas rush.

Halfords chief executive David Hamid said the range, which includes outdoor gear such as go-carts, trampolines, goal posts and frisbees, will reach 40 stores by December. Halfords has been conducting a two-store test of the category since February.

The initiative corresponds with the acceleration of plans to add mezzanines and super-mezzanines across the estate. The retailer anticipates a more onerous planning regime and Hamid said the new space was coming on stream at 'a rate of knots'.

The kids' zone product mix had been refined and edited based on best-selling lines, with space devoted flexing between 500 sq ft (45 sq m) and 1,500 sq ft (140 sq m) based on the size of the store. The mezzanine floors take six weeks to build, with a further 'couple of weeks' required to fine tune. Stores continue to trade while work takes place.

Over the past year, Halfords has been broadening its product horizons, pushing into outdoor leisure with camping equipment and tents. 'We had a reasonably good time with camping, although the weather could have been kinder,' said Hamid. 'There will be an adjusted range for autumn.'

Halfords is due to release a pre-close statement on October 5.