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Halfords’ multichannel sales rise by 34%

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Car parts-to-cycles retailer Halfords says multichannel sales grew by more than a third in its latest financial year and now make up 6% of its total sales. Further integration of online and stores is now planned through a continued strategy of integrating with its store operations.

In its end-of-year financial statement released this week, the Halfords Group said: “Our customer feedback tells us they like the convenience of buying online but also want to visit our stores for expert advice and recommendation and added value services such as fitting.”

Halfords customers can now shop online in a variety of ways. Reserve and collect accounts for 80% of online sales, with more than 1.5m items sold this way.

Order and collect allows customers to order from the retailer’s online-only range, which amounts to 2,000 extra lines, while direct delivery is also offered. A new Text and Reserve service allows shoppers to text in their car registration number in order to identify and reserve the correct replacement product for their vehicle.

Other innovations in the last year have included the use of customer ratings and reviews, with 40,000 added to the site, along with an “ask and answer” facility which allows users to pool their expertise. Investment in the online and multichannel presence is a “clear priority” going forward, said the company.

The multichannel update came as Halfords Group, which as of this year also includes Nationwide Autocentres, reported a 26.7% rise in pre-tax profits, to £117.1m in the year to April 2. Sales rose by 4.6% to £831.6m, while like-for-like sales rose by 0.7%.

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