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Halfords promotes Duffy to Autocentres CEO role

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By Gemma Taylor -

Halfords has today announced the appointment of Bill Duffy as CEO for its Autocentres business.

Duffy, who is currently Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the company, will take over from Duncan Wilkes on September 12th 2011.

Wilkes leaves his post after five and a half years in the role, which saw him lead the management buyout of the Nationwide Autocentres business with private equity firm Phoenix in 2006, helping to manage growth.

He was also involved in the sale to Halfords and its rebranding as Halfords Autocentres, completed in March this year.

David Wild, Halfords Group CEO, thanked Wilkes for his hard work during his time with the company, calling him “a fantastic colleague”.

“I’d like to thank him for his immense contribution to the growth and development of our Autocentres business through its transition from a private company to Halfords ownership. We wish him well with his next projects,” Wild added.

The announcement follows disappointing trading figures for the 13 weeks to July 1st 2011, as like-for-like retail sales fell 1.1 per cent year-on-year amid difficult economic conditions.

Halfords officially launched 240 re-branded autocentres in March this year, and it is hoped that these new acquisitions will help with the company’s plan to strengthen its position within the garage servicing market.

Duffy has worked for the bike and car parts retailer since February 2006, and has 30 years of experience in the retail industry.

His new role will involve continuing to improve Halfords Autocentres’ market share by offering motorists service at competitive prices, as well as overseeing the growth of the chain, which aims to open 400 Autocentres over the next five years.

Commenting on the appointment, Wild said: ”I’d like to welcome Bill to his new role. He and I have already been working closely together in his capacity as COO.

“He knows the business inside out and has the ideal experience and leadership qualities to drive the next phase of the growth strategy.”

Published on Thursday 11 August by Editorial Assistant

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