Halfords Group plc is a British retailer of car parts, car enhancement, camping and touring equipment and bicycles operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They also provide MOT, service and repairs in the United Kingdom, through Halfords Autocentre. Halfords Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
A typical Halfords exterior, the Ocean Park store in Portsmouth
|Traded as||(LSE: HFD)|
|Founder||F W Rushbrooke|
|Products||Ripspeed, Bicycles and accessories, SatNav, Car audio, Tools, Child seats etc.|
|Services||Bicycle repair, vehicle part fitting, audio installation|
|Revenue||£1,095 million (2017)|
|£77.1 million (2017)|
|£56.4 million (2017)|
Number of employees
Boardman Bikes Ltd.
The company was founded by Frederick Rushbrooke in Birmingham in 1892 as a wholesale ironmongery. In 1902, Rushbrooke moved to a store on Halford Street in Leicester, and the company was named after this street, and started selling cycling goods. It opened its 200th store in 1931, and purchased the Birmingham Bicycle Company in 1945.
In 1968, it opened its 300th store.
The company became a part of Burmah Oil in 1965, following a takeover battle between Burmah and Smiths Industries. During this time, Denis Thatcher, husband of the future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was a non executive director. The company was acquired by Ward White Group in 1983 and subsequently acquired by the Boots Group in 1991.
In July 2002, it was then taken over by CVC Capital Partners, and in June 2004, it was floated on the London Stock Exchange. In February 2003, Halfords dropped the blue, white and red branding, in favour of a new black and orange logo. However, the 'new' logo had been used since the previous year, but it did not come into effect until 2003.
On 11 July 2005, Halfords entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Autobacs Seven Co., a Japan based car accessory retailer with chains of stores all over the world and who is best known in other countries that do not have an Autobacs store for being the title sponsorship of Super GT and D1 Grand Prix.
On 13 December 2005, Autobacs acquired 5% (11,400,000 shares) of the company at approximately ¥7.5 billion.
In June 2007, Halfords opened its first shop in Central Europe, in a village near Prague. In the next two years, it opened five more stores in the Czech Republic and one in Poland (Wrocław, 2008). Expansion into Central Europe was seen as an opportunity because the cars on the road tend to be slightly older there, so people would be more adept at car maintenance.
However, in March 2010, it terminated these activities already, after the losses made in the initial years were deemed too high, and a new management wanted to focus on the domestic market.
On 18 February 2010, the company announced a deal to purchase the Nationwide Autocentre MOT chain, from the private equity firm Phoenix. The plan was to rebrand the centres under the Halfords name, and open another 200. As of April 2015, there are over 250 Halfords Autocentre garages dealing with MOTs, car repairs and servicing.
In June 2014, Halfords acquired the British bicycle manufacturer Boardman Bikes Ltd. (founded by the professional cyclist Chris Boardman, Sarah Mooney and Alan Ingarfield) for undisclosed sum. In March 2015, it was announced that on 11 May 2015, Jill McDonald, head of McDonald's UK since 2010, would replace Matt Davies (who was leaving to join Tesco), as CEO.
Halfords acquired Swansea based Tredz Bikes, an online retailer of premium bikes and cycling accessories, and Wheelies, the largest provider of bicycle replacement for insurance companies in the United Kingdom, for £18.4m from founders Keith and Michael Jones on 24 May 2016. The group turned over around £32m in the year to 29 February 2016, making a profit before financial charges of £2.4m.
The group continues to trade as a standalone business named Performance Cycling Limited.
On 3 May 2017, Halfords announced that Jill McDonald, CEO, had resigned from the business to take up the position of Managing Director: Clothing, Home & Beauty at Marks & Spencer. She remained as CEO of Halfords until the end of her notice period in October 2017. On 13 September 2017, Halfords made an announcement that Dixons Carphone executive Graham Stapleton would be its new CEO, with effect from January 2018.
Since 2010, Halfords Retail has operated around 465 stores, of which about 22 are in the Republic of Ireland and the others in the United Kingdom.
The team won the BTCC overall Drivers Championship in 2005 and 2006, with driver Matt Neal. In March 2007, Halfords sponsored the Team Dynamics BTCC racing team under the name of Team Halfords and in January 2008, Halfords started sponsoring a mixed professional bike team, Team Halfords Bikehut, headed by Nicole Cooke.
In November 2014 Halfords announced they were to revive their Cycle Republic chain of specialist bicycle stores. The first store was opened in London on 12 December 2014. The company's shop estate 22 shops and an ecommerce website operation. Late in 2017, the company's flagship store in Canary Wharf was opened by Olympian, Victoria Pendleton. For 2018 Cycle Republic sponsored the Morvélo-Basso racing team. The company also provides event support at cyclo-sportives around the country including Etape Loch Ness, Palace2Palace and Velo Birmingham.
- "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Halfords. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Fast facts". Halfords. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- "And it's all thanks to a passion for a penny-farthing bicycle". London: Times Online. 30 May 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- Halfords cleans up in bid to woo women drivers Daily Mail, 21 September 2006
- "Halfords change of style benefits Barnado's". Retail Bulletin. 18 February 2003. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Announcement of Collaboration Agreement with Halfords Group plc". Autobacs Seven Co. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "Announcement of Acquisition of Stocks of Halfords Group plc". Autobacs Seven Co. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- Thompson, James (6 June 2008). "Halfords looking to branch out into Central Europe as sales buck downward trend". London: Independent Online. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
- "Halfords leaving Czech Rep and Poland after three years, focusing on domestic market". Autofox. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014. See also links on the bottom of that article; see also James Moore (24 March 2010). "Investment Column: Halfords rides away from central Europe". The Independent. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Halfords buys car servicing firm Nationwide Autocentres BBC News Online. 18 February 2010
- "4 June 2014 Last updated at 18:05 Halfords takes over Boardman Bikes for undisclosed sum". BBC News. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Acquisition of Boardman Bikes will shift gear at Halfords". www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Farrell, Sean (23 March 2015). "Halfords hires McDonald's UK boss". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Wood, Zoe (2016-05-24). "Halfords buys Tredz and Wheelies for £18.4m". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
- Torrance, Jack. "Why is Halfords boss Jill McDonald biking off to M&S?". Managementtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- "Halfords nets Honeybee boss Graham Stapleton as new chief executive". News.sky.com. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- According to the Annual Report 2009, there were 466 stores including six in Central Europe and 22 in Ireland. In 2010, there were 462 shops left, all in the British islands (Halfords Annual Report 2010 Archived 10 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.). This number had grown to 466 in 2013, according to the Annual Report of that year.
- BTCC action: Matt Neal Archived 11 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Team Halfords field pair of Honda Civics BTCC, 13 March 2007
- Halfords backs Cooke for Glory Cycling Weekly, 8 January 2008
- Butler, Sarah. "Halfords to revive Cycle Republic chain". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- Butler, Sarah (2014-11-06). "Halfords to revive Cycle Republic chain". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
- "Catching up with Peter Kimberley, MD of Cycle Republic". Bikebiz. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
- Enfield, Laura. "Victoria Pendleton reveals why she is a "fair weather cyclist" at Cycle Republic opening in Canary Wharf". In your area. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
- Howells, Kieran. BikeBiz https://www.bikebiz.com/news/cycle-republic-to-sponsor-morvelo-basso-for-18. Retrieved 2018-01-26. Missing or empty
- "Cycle Republic back huge Velo Birmingham event". Greater Birmingham Chambers. Retrieved 2017-03-15.