226 jobs at risk as Halfords announces closure of performance bike stores

Halfords has announced it is to close its Cycle Republic outlets and the Boardman Performance Centre following a strategic review of its cycling businesses.

The move comes after a strategic update in November 2019 and puts 226 jobs at risk. Cycle Republic has stores in both Derby and Nottingham.

A statement from Halfords said: “At the time, we outlined our intent to improve the profitability of our cycling business and the proposed closure of Cycle Republic reflects the challenging economics of a store-based dedicated performance cycling operation.

“Exiting a low-returning, stock intensive business allows us to improve our return on capital whilst freeing up investment and resources to continue to drive our services-focused strategy, with an emphasis on accelerating the growth of our motoring businesses.”

Halfords says that performance cycling is an important category for the business, but that it will serve the sector through Tredz, a predominantly online business.

The statement continued: “From today we will launch a consultation process with the 226 colleagues affected by the proposal, with a view to mitigating redundancies where possible. We are also actively exploring opportunities to sell the sites as a going concern. Subject to the outcome of current negotiations and consultation, the stores are expected to close during the first half of FY21.”

Graham Stapleton, CEO said: “The Board has come to the difficult, but necessary, decision to propose the closure of Cycle Republic, our retail store-focussed performance cycling brand.

“This proposal is not a reflection of the hard work of our Cycle Republic colleagues, who I would like to thank for their commitment and passion in serving our customers. We are now moving into a period of consultation with impacted colleagues with a view to mitigating as many redundancies as possible.

“Going forward we propose to focus our investment and resources in Halfords and Tredz, through which we will deliver market-leading specialist propositions for both mainstream and enthusiast cyclists via a business model that improves our overall economics.”