Halfords is hopeful of a strong Christmas trading period as it ramps up its multichannel marketing.
Chief executive David Wild said: “We do very well on bikes and technology at Christmas; they are such great gifts. Reservations for bikes are well up on last year. We’re optimistic about Christmas.”
Wild said Halfords has doubled its online marketing spend as it seeks to grow the multichannel side of the business from 5% of overall revenue to 10% within a year.
He also said Halfords has tweaked its store format in the Czech Republic, where it has just opened its sixth store.
Wild said: “It’s been tough this year. The Czech economy has had its worst year ever. Like-for-likes have not been where we want them to be. Technology has fallen through the floor.”
He explained that in the latest Czech store the retailer has changed the mix and used less space as it moves away from technology. “We expect better earnings from the new store,” said Wild.
Halfords also has a store in Poland that Wild said was “doing fine”.
In the UK Halfords is opening around 10 stores a year, and will concentrate on “slightly smaller stores”, reflecting the decline of some categories, such as alloy wheels.