The retailer’s cycling business was up 57.1% on a life-for-like basis, which Halfrods said was “significantly boosted” by the avoidance of public transport, favourable weather conditions and increased adoption of cycling as a health and leisure activity.
It added that servicing and repairs have also proved to be an “inexpensive and popular” way to re-engage in cycling, with cycling service-related revenue up 41.9% on a like-for-like basis in the four weeks to 3 July.
However, group sales for the 13 weeks to 3 July were 2.8% below last year and 6.5% on a life-for-like basis, significantly better than anticipated in late-March and an improvement on the 23% life-for-like decline for the four weeks to 1 May that Halfords reported on 6 May 2020.
Online sales were up 200% year-on-year in Q1, highlighting the value of the retailers new web platform, which Halford said “dealt well” with the unprecedented shift to online ordering during the Covid-19 lockdown, when physical store operations were “severely curtailed”.
CEO Graham Stapleton said: “This has been another year of good progress against the backdrop of a retail market that was challenging even before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are particularly pleased to have delivered strong revenue growth in Group Services (9%), Online (17%) and B2B (25%), which are our main areas of strategic focus.”
He added: “The start of the current financial year has of course been dominated by the impact of Covid-19, and our status as an essential retailer was a clear endorsement of the wider role that Halfords has to play in keeping the UK moving.
“Having responded quickly and decisively to cater for the surge in popularity of cycling during lockdown, we are now seeing increased demand for motoring services and products as people start using their cars regularly again having not done so for the last few months.”