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IRUK Top500 Strategy and Innovation Report: 2018

IRUK Top500 Strategy and Innovation Report: 2018

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Halfords: on the importance of stores and services in a multichannel age

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Halfords' services attract customers into the store
Halfords' services attract customers into the store

Halfords today emphasised the importance of its store network and services to customers who came into shops to pick up more than 85% of their online orders during its latest financial year.

 

“This high proportion continues to differentiate us from other retailers,” Halfords Group said in full-year results today. “Instead of cannibalising our bricks and mortar operation, online sales have driven store footfall; both our online and store sales were in growth for the year.”

 

Halfords, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, saw group revenue grow by 3.7% to £1.1bn in the year to March 30, with retail sales 4.1% ahead at £977.2m. On a like-for-like basis, which strips out store – or business – openings and closures, group revenue was 2% ahead while retail sales were 2.3% ahead. Pre-tax profits came in at £71.6m (-5%) before one-off costs, and at £67.1m (-6%) after one-off costs. Halfords said the fall in profits came as the retail absorbed £25m in the extra cost of imports as a result of the continuing weakness of the pound against the US dollar. Group online sales rose by 11.8%, while service-related retail sales were 14.2% ahead. Retail online sales were 6% ahead LFL.

 

Chief executive Graham Stapleton, who joined Halfords four months ago, said performance was pleasing. “Halfords is a good business with a great future,” he said. “By focusing more on our specialisms and our services, ensuring that we always provide best value to our customers and presenting a more seamless and inspirational omnichannel experience, there is a really exciting future of growth ahead of us. I look forward to presenting our longer-term plans in September.

 

Here’s what else the retailer said about its multichannel strategy.

 

The Customer

Halfords says it knows its customers better since it now has a single view of its customers in both its retail and autocentres businesses. It can now match 59% of transactions to retail customers – up from 3% in November 2015 – and 72% of autocentre customers.

 

In-store services

The retailer now has more than 70 in-store services in its retail business, while retail sales related to these services have grown by 46% over the last three years.

 

Infrastructure

Halfords says it now has a more resilient IT infrastructure following several years of under-investment. It launched a delivery-to-store model in 2015 and has since launched a single view of stock and takes a more agile approach to website development.

Image courtesy of Halfords

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