Halfords today outlined the role that digital will play in its new strategy to become a super-specialist supplier of motoring and cycling equipment and accessories.
The motoring-to-cycling retailer, ranked Leading in IRUK Top500 research, recently unveiled a new strategy of inspiring and supporting a lifetime of motoring and cycling. It promises a more engaging online presence to support this strategy. Its web presence be complemented in its stores, with online experiences designed for in-store use of tablet, mobile and other screens.
Graham Stapleton, chief executive, said: “We are making good early progress as we implement our new strategy, and we are encouraged by the initial signs. We are moving to a more customer-centric approach, leveraging our expertise to provide a more differentiated shopping experience and an integrated and more convenient services offer.”
The update came as Halfords reported its figures for the half-year to September 28. Revenues came in at £599.9m, 1.9% up on the same time last year, with like-for-like revenues – a metric that strips out store and business openings and closures – 2.5% ahead. Of that, £519.8m was from retail (+1.7% in total/+2.3%LFL), and £80.1m was from its autocentres business (+3.1%/+3/3% LFL). Top-line pre-tax profits came in at £30.5m, down by 17.1% on the same time last year, but after one-off costs related to investments and one-off costs, pre-tax profits came in at £28.2m - down by 23% on the same time last year.
Group online sales grew by 10.9% during the period: Halfords said this was down to increased traffic and improved conversion, especially via mobile. Some 85% of online orders were picked up in store. Service-related retail sales, which include both the in-store sale and the fee paid for fitting the product, "continued to grow faster than total sales".
By the end of the year, Halfords sold retail products through 478 stores and online via halfords.com.
Image courtesy of Halfords