Halfords outlet closures continue despite best-ever Christmas week sales

Halfords says it plans to close another 47 stores before the end of its financial year.

The firm announced that it was set to shutter a total of 80 outlets in late 2019 in a bid to save £6m a year. It revealed this morning that 33 sites have already been closed.

Halfords also posted strong sales growth in a trading update this morning (January 14). Turnover was by 11.7% for the 13 weeks to January 1, with its autocentres doing particularly well and a continued boost provided by bike sales.

Graham Stapleton, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have delivered a strong performance under hugely challenging circumstances, including our best ever Christmas week. Despite a large reduction in traffic on the roads, our strategically important Autocentres business saw significant growth, with particularly strong demand for the services of our growing fleet of Halfords Mobile Expert vans.

“We are currently carrying out over half a million services and repair jobs on cars and bikes each month, and therefore continue to play an essential role in keeping the UK moving during this pandemic. Throughout the crisis we are privileged to have been able to offer free checks and discounts to 239,000 NHS workers, teachers and Armed Forces staff to help them keep their vehicles safe and roadworthy.”