Halfords Group addresses two distinct areas of the UK's highly-fragmented motoring market - car parts, accessories, consumables and technology; and car servicing and aftercare. From the perspective of the former, there is no single equivalent competitor. In respect of the latter, there are over 30,000 garages in the UK, an estimated two-thirds of which are small independents.
The UK car parc has exhibited steady growth...
UK Car Parc
...with the average age of cars gradually rising
Average Age of UK Cars
Car parts, accessories, consumables and technology
Our strong heritage and brand means Halfords is a destination for consumers who want assistance with their cars. We continue to make progress in our markets through investment in our stores and colleagues to help deliver innovative products and services to our customers when and where they want them.
Cars are becoming more reliable...
Visit to Garage Per Year Light
Vehicle – Frequency
...but more expensive to fix
Average Visit Spend – £
Car servicing and aftercare
We will continue to invest in equipment and colleague training in order to remain at the forefront of technological changes. This will give us a competitive advantage in a fragmented market of independent operators.
Specifically, we have made significant progress in providing industry-accredited training to Autocentres colleagues in the servicing and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles.
The cycling market is highly fragmented, with an estimated 2,500 bike shops in the UK, the majority of which are independently owned. Our research shows that these shops are closing at an average of 10% per year. Halfords Group is the market leader, with strong brand awareness in bicycles, parts, accessories and clothing.
Halfords Group boasts the biggest and most popular cycle brand in the UK – Carrera. We also sell other own brands for both children and adults. Our stores are conveniently-located, and our online platform provides support and information to help customers choose the product and services they want.
Many customers take advantage of our Click & Collect offer, placing orders online via our website and picking up from a designated store at a time which is convenient to them. This also drives positive store footfall. Additionally, we are a leading partner of the UK's Cycle-to-Work scheme; supporting sales and introducing new customers to our brand.
Through Tredz and Cycle Republic, Halfords has a strong and increasing foothold in the performance cycling market. Offering products and services of particular appeal to performance cyclists has contributed to growth in the overall number of customers. Cycle-to-Work vouchers can also be redeemed at both Tredz and Cycle Republic stores, contributing significantly to the ongoing success of that partnership. Both brands' bold online presence differentiates them from the independent cycle shop community and helps them stay relevant and competitive in a challenging market environment.
Looking ahead, we continue to see good growth prospects for the cycling market. Participation levels in the UK remain lower than in many other European countries, particularly among the female population. Government-led schemes and investment in cycle-friendly city infrastructure continues to support a positive future outlook.
In addition, consumers are increasingly engaged with issues which affect the environment and which influence the living of a healthy lifestyle; both of which are intrinsically linked to the benefits of cycling.
The advent of E-Bikes – power-assisted cycling – is serving to widen the market by providing cycling opportunities for older generations and consumers less physically able. E-Bikes are rapidly growing in popularity and, if the UK trend continues to mirror those experienced in Germany and the Netherlands, the expectation is that E-Bike sales will increase from the current level of 8% of all bikes sold, to around 20% over the next few years.
Finally, existing participants in the cycling market are willing to spend more on their cycles and accessories. As a result, whilst volume is predicted to remain relatively flat, the value of the market will grow via demand for cycle and accessory upgrades or additional cycles for a different style of riding.
Whilst the unpredictability of the weather will continue to impact the timing of purchases, the overall trends in the market are positive and show that scope for growth remains.