Halfords is now hoping for a good rise from the exploits of Laura Trott and Bradley Wiggins at the Rio 2016 Olympics, after the slowing bike sales showed by the retailer’s annual results. The bikes, car parts and accessories retailer said pre-tax profit before one off items reached up to 81.5 million pounds from 81.1 million pounds in the year. Cycling sales came down to 0.8 percent due to a drop in the second quarter although the business picked up later in the same year. Motoring the retail revenues and sales of the MOT as well as other car services increased by 2.6 percent.
The fortunes of Halfords’ have now become linked to the British cycling craze, which followed medals for Wiggins and other riders during the 2012 London Olympics. Although the motoring makes up about seventy percent of Halfords’ business, cycling has now accounted for much of the group’s growth in the recent past. A series of more cycling victories that include the Tour de France wins for Wiggins plus Chris Froome and also the tour to the UK in 2014 had a good momentum. However, sales got a blow last summer as the bad weather stopped casual cyclists from taking to the road or upgrading their kit and the competition between the retailers drove margins down.
The Rio event will commence on August 5 and Wiggins will be taking part yet again along with Laura Trott. Halfords had signed up Wiggins in November to assist in designing a range of children’s bikes, which will go on sale before the games; Trott has worked on the women’s range bearing her name.
The chief executive officer of Halfords, Mr. Jill McDonald stated that when big sporting events are on, cycling will most probably come to the forefront of people’s minds. He said that they are expecting great things from Sir Bradley as well as Laura Trott and hope that cycling will be in the minds of the public. He added that that they would expect some form of bounce, which they will have to wait and see.
The former head of McDonald’s UK, McDonald took over at Halfords one year ago, by replacing the bike enthusiast Matt Davies, who had left to run Tesco’s British business. She said that after carrying out the review of the British cycling market she had expected bike sales to increase by 4 to 5 percent per year and for Halfords to shoot up its share of that market.