'˜Staycation' summer boosts sales at Halfords

Halfords has notched up a hike in sales thanks to surging demand for roof boxes and camping gear as more Britons chose to 'staycation' in the UK.

Library image of a Halfords store Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The car parts-to-bicycles chain said like-for-like retail sales rose 3.5% in the 20 weeks to August 18, with motoring sales lifting 2.3%.

Halfords saw travel solutions sales jump 8.2% higher, driven by the rising popularity of holidaying in the UK in the face of poor exchange rates from the Brexit-hit pound.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

It also reported strong demand for bikes, with sales up 5.2% and electric bikes and repair services seeing strong performances.

Outgoing chief executive Jill McDonald, who is leaving next month to head up Marks & Spencer’s fashion and homewares arm, said: “A combination of good planning and execution meant that we optimised sales from the staycation summer, with strong growth in camping, roof boxes and cycle carriers.”

But the group saw a 2% drop in like-for-like sales at its autocentres service, leaving overall group-wide same-store sales 2.7% higher in the 20-week period.