Halfords boss has shrugged off the threat of a post-Brexit downturn by saying it could benefit from people choosing to ‘staycation’ this summer.
Chief executive Jill McDonald argued it is “well placed” if the effects of Brexit continue to hamper consumer confidence. She pointed to the fact that spend on cycling and camping should increase if “people choose to holiday in the UK rather than abroad”.
McDonald admitted it was “difficult to predict” the impact of Brexit as it is “early days”. But she added: “We are very resilient”.
She also said that a large proportion of Halfords’ sales are “needs-based”, particularly in motoring: “If somebody’s car stops working, they tend to come to us.”
On other Brexit impacts, McDonald admitted it is affected by the fluctuations in sterling as the retailer buys many of its products in dollars. But she added: “We are looking to mitigate this impact as much as possible.” Halfords said earlier today it has three-quarters of its dollar purchases for this financial year are hedged at around $1.45.
It came as Halfords reported a 4% slide in like-for-likes in its cycling division in the 13 weeks to July 1.
However McDonald was positive on its prospects for the summer – the retailer’s peak trading period for cycling – pointing to new bike ranges from Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott, who are both competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.