Motor accessories and bikes specialist Halfords posts prelims on Wednesday, bringing the chance to see how it is doing with boss Jill McDonald at the wheel.
Halfords has already said profits in 2017 are likely to be “broadly unchanged” on the full-year 2016 numbers and there will be “growth thereafter”.
So, although the financials will, of course, be pored over, interest is likely to focus on progress being made on the strategic journey.
At the time of the interims last November, McDonald set out her roadmap for the retailer under the ‘Moving up a gear’ umbrella.
It comprises five core elements:
- Putting customers in the driving seat
- Service in our DNA
- Building on our uniqueness
- Better shopping experience
- Fit for future infrastructure
As far as a better shopping experience is concerned, last week’s acquisition of Tredz and Wheelies, respectively an etailer of premium bikes and parts, accessories and clothing (PAC) and a supplier of replacement bikes for insurance companies, should help.
At the interims Halfords said its PAC sales had grown with the market but “have more recently fallen below our own high expectations”.
It said there was an opportunity to grow PAC but “we need to do this through the right channel”. Last week’s deal should further that aim.
First choice for a life on the move
More generally, the retailer said in its first-half update: “The Halfords brand has a strong heritage and high awareness but it is often seen as functional and can appear old fashioned for some younger customers.
“So we have clarified our brand purpose and framework. Our goal is to be customers’ first choice for their life on the move and we will achieve this by being committed to making customers’ journeys better.”
So Halfords seems to have set some overarching strategic ambitions and to be executing on the specifics of them.
Given the flat profit outlook for next year, more evidence next week that the longer-term strategy is working will be welcome.