The bike-and-car-parts chain posted a 7.9% rise in like-for-like retail sales in the 13 weeks to 27 June, with cycling powering 21.3% ahead, just days after the Tour de France came to Yorkshire and passed through London. Halfords said all areas in its cycling business saw strong growth, led by a 35.1% surge in premium bike sales.
Chief executive Matt Davies hailed an "exceptional performance" in Halford's cycling business, which benefited from "favourable weather and increased interest in the Tour de France". The UK's "summer of cycling" also includes the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which start on 23 July.
Halfords recently snapped up Olympic champion Chris Boardman's bike company. Even before the acquisition, it was selling about 50,000 Boardman bikes a year – a range of road, mountain and hybrid bikes priced at between £500 and £1,800. It is launching children's versions of the Boardman racing bikes.
Halfords has won business from competitors. Davies, a former Pets at Home boss, has credited a combination of good weather, improved stock availability and products, better trained and motivated staff and a switch from promoting mainly on price.
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