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Halfords reopens 53 “Retail Lite” stores with extensive social distancing measures in place

Halfords is today (27 May) announcing it is reopening 53 of its stores across the country with extensive social distancing measures in place, using an operating model that has been called “Retail Lite”.

The reopenings follow successful trials at its Peterborough and Bristol Cribbs Causeway stores and will be the first time that customers have been allowed instore since the lockdown was put in place in the UK.

Having been granted essential retailer status, 335 of Halfords’ 446 retail stores have until now been operating under a Dark Store model during the lockdown. This means that customers have been unable to browse and instead have been placing orders with Halfords colleagues outside the front of the store.

While the majority of Halfords’ stores will continue to operate as Dark Stores for the time being, there are plans to gradually convert and reopen them under the new “Retail Lite” model. However, there is no timetable or deadline in place for doing so and the pace will instead be dictated entirely by the company’s confidence that it can keep its colleagues and customers safe.

The extensive range of social distancing measures that will be in place include the following:

  • Only a safe number of customers allowed in the store at any one time
  • Queue marshaling in place outside the store
  • Safety notices and floor markings to remind customers about social distancing
  • Cleaning station at the front of the store, with supplies of hand sanitiser and wipes
  • ‘Sneeze screens’ and visors for colleagues
  • Customers will be asked not to handle or try on products
  • Customers will be asked to book bike consultation and collection slots online or over the phone in advance, wherever possible

“We are pleased to be in a position to start letting our customers back into our stores”, said Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords. “However, we are going to be reopening them to our customers gradually and cautiously in order to be absolutely certain that our colleagues and customers have a safe environment in which to work and shop.

There has been a big surge in demand for our bike products and services as people have taken to cycling during the lockdown, both for commuting and for fun. We are also anticipating a similar level of demand for our motoring products and services in the coming days, as people begin to use vehicles again that in some cases will have been off the road for many weeks.
The launch of our new Retail Lite model will assist us in meeting this increased demand, which in turn will allow us to continue helping to keep the UK moving.

The full list of stores that are reopening under the “Retail Lite” model is below.
Halfords is also launching a free Road Ready Car Check, which is a 30-minute service covering checks on tyre depth, tyre inflation, performing a battery health test, headlights and brake lights, screen wash, AdBlue, coolant and oil levels. It is intended to help keep motorists in control and reassure them at this critical time. Further details can be found here:
https://www.halfords.com/motoring/batteries/car-batteries/full-car-check-315006.html

For more information please contact:

Rob Greening, Powerscourt, 07809 698 259; rob.greening@powerscourt-group.com

About Halfords

Halfords is the UK’s leading retailer of motoring and cycling products and services. Through Halfords Autocentres, it is also one of the UK’s leading independent operators in vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs.

Headquartered in Redditch, West Midlands, Halfords employs nearly 10,000 colleagues up and down the country.

Stores reopening under Retail Lite:
Inverness
Stirling
Dundee
Edinburgh - Straiton
Hamilton
Preston
York
North Shields
Stockport
Aintree
Liverpool, Edge Lane
Huddersfield
Wakefield
Doncaster
Sheffield, Queens
Chester
Telford
Leicester, St Margarets
Newport
Gloucester
Hereford
Leamington Spa
Cribbs Causeway
Frome
Swindon
Poole
Basingstoke
Fareham
Plymouth
Exeter
Yeovil
Taunton
Peterborough
Lincoln, Tritton
Norwich
Ipswich Euro
Chelmsford
Braintree
Cambridge
Colchester
Aylesbury
Milton Keynes
Stevenage
Bedford
Hemel Hempstead
Harlow
High Wycombe
New Malden
Eastbourne
Maidstone
Ashford
Thanet
Chatham