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Halfords moves into multichannel fast lane

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Visitor numbers to the Halfords website exceeded 20 million in the year to October 1 2010, amounting to an impressive 47% year-on-year increase. The leading retailer of automotive, bike and leisure products says multichannel now accounts for about 9% of total revenue after a year of strong growth, and there are plans to fuel multichannel sales growth much further in 2011.

Halfords Group revealed 13% profit before tax growth for the 26 weeks to October 1, and used the opportunity to set out its organic growth strategy. Leveraging the Halfords brand in multichannel is one of four core elements of the plan, alongside extending the product range, investing in stores and focusing on cost control.

“Our multichannel strategy continues to be the integration of and our store operations,” said David Wild, chief executive. “This strategy delivers what our customers have said they want, namely that they like the convenience of buying online but also want to visit our stores for knowledgeable, expert advice and recommendation, and benefit from the added value services such as fitting.”

Online participation is strongest in child travel and safety where one in four child seats are purchased through the web with 21% of premium bike sales and 15% of satellite navigation devices and accessories being sold online, said Halfords.

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