Halfords trials superstore format

Cycles and car parts retailer Halfords is revving up its business with a new-model superstore and refined metro high street format.

Chief executive David Hamid, who joined in June, described the prototype superstore in Shirley, Solihull, as the 'shape of things to come', providing 'the way forward for all big stores.'

He said: 'It (the Shirley store) is a work in progress. We are looking to be more authoritative. It's not necessarily new categories, but we are adding more depth.'

Halfords - which has 400 stores - is making significant use of the store's mezzanine trading space, with 40 per cent of the assortment displayed in the area.

The retailer pushed into the outdoor leisure market earlier this year, with new camping and hiking sub-brand Urban, Lines such as satellite navigation equipment and car racing seats and boots are being tested.

Halfords has also been scrutinising its 46-strong high street chain.

New fascia Halfords Metro was introduced over the summer and it is experimenting with variations on a theme, including dual floor, mall and market town trading.

'We've been looking closely at the high street and have prototype stores in Hammersmith, Welwyn Garden City, Huntingdon and Hitchin,' said Hamid. 'These are existing stores, but we have ranged them in line with our current thinking and they are trading well against previous records.'

In June, Hamid binned Halford's 'start here, go anywhere' tagline for 'driving down prices' to highlight the more aggressive stance on price.

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