Halfords has admitted that despite an exceptional FY21 which benefitted from the unprecedented demand that COVID-19 lockdowns generated, cycling sales have been more volatile this year.
Wider supply chain disruption, industry-specific production bottlenecks and cost of living concerns have all taken their toll.
COVID-19 disruption impacted the production of its own range of bikes while other ranges were also marred by disruption, with the company’s peak period for kids bikes in December impacted by last-minute sea freight delays. This affected consumer confidence over the certainty of delivery, the company said in its latest update this week.
Graham Stapleton, chief executive officer at Halfords, said that the global supply chain has been particularly challenging over the last two years. “Moving anything around the globe with any degree of certainty has been difficult,” he said.
Whilst there were general signs of improvement towards the end of H1 Stapleton said the reliability of freight remained poor. Coupled with factory closures it says that it meant it was often difficult to accurately understand demand due to the unstable stock availability presented to customers.