Halfords reassures employers its cycle-to-work scheme is safe

Halfords has reassured employers that it will not moving away from its cycle-to-work scheme after it announced it will be dropping its brands Bikehut and Cycle Republic.

The car parts and bikes retailer, which provides a cycle-to-work scheme to more than 300 blue chip organisations, has said it will be closing one of its cycle shops and rebranding the remaining seven shops as Halfords stores. A spokesperson for Halfords confirmed that no changes will be made to Halfords’ government-backed cycle scheme.†

The move comes despite the firm reporting a slight increase in sales in the cycling, leisure and car maintenance elements of the business. Halfords, however, said stand-alone bike shops were not the answer to its future success.†

Its statement read: “Within the premium sector, these gains primarily reflect the continued success of our Boardman brand and an ongoing programme of premium brand introductions within the Group’s existing core superstores.

“Halfords’ pilot stand-alone cycle stores have been impacted by the increasing success of our superstores in the premium market segment and the migration of sales to the web, particularly for accessories.

“Consequently, we no longer believe that the stand-alone concept will deliver the absolute levels of financial return demanded of Halfords’ investments. Ranges currently only available in stand-alone stores are therefore being transferred to our superstore chain and Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores are being re-branded, where appropriate, to a full Halfords offer via the Metro format. Recognising Halfords’ disciplined investment in this pilot, the exceptional exit costs, including the closure of stores where necessary, total approximately £1.2m.”