Weather blasts bikes sales at Halfords

Bikes drop 8.8% but online sales in accessories rise more than 25%

The UK's cold winter weather has been blamed for an 8.8 percent reduction in bike sales at Halfords in the first quarter of the year.

The national chain which sells about a million bikes a year, reported that sales were sluggish in the 11 weeks to Easter compared to the year before. In the latest financial results published yesterday however, online sales of clothes, spares and other bike accessories bucked the trend and rose by more than 25 percent in the same period.  The retailer will be expanding its online bike shop later this year.

Sales of Boardman bikes also held up well. A new range of the perennial favourites – including a full carbon road bike for less than £1,000 – are also expected in 2014. As a precursor, 2,000 Road Team Carbon LTD bikes will also be on sale shortly.

While bike sales and other offerings in its outdoor sector slowed, the company made up the shortfall thanks to strong sales of car maintenance products -  also driven by the cold weather.

Halfords’ chief executive Matt Davies said: “Cycling and Travel Solutions were impacted in the period but we have a strong offer ready for the spring and summer periods.”

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