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Halfords plans to close 60 stores despite resilient sales

Halfords is reportedly planning on closing 60 stores as it looks to speed up its store closure scheme despite seeing “better than expected” sales during the lockdown period.

According to The Telegraph, Halfords has decided to up its plans to close 6 stores in the year to 60 with the closures coming from both its garages and retail shops with employees expected to move to other sites.

The company is also reportedly in the middle of renegotiating a number of its leases that are up for renewal. 

The news comes despite the car service and bike retailer having reported a surge in sales for cycling related products and services during the Covid-19 lockdown in its preliminary results for the year ended 3 April 2020.

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.

The group revealed that 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.

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