Halfords has reported a strong first quarter as it achieved its biggest ever week of sales in late July.
Sunny weather and cyclists inspired by Olympians have driven the cycling and automotive retailer to post a 4.8 per cent rise in revenue for the 20 weeks up to August 19.
Its cycling division posted like-for-like sales up 1.9 per cent, and total sales up 11 per cent.
This sharp rise was attributed to the opening of new cycle republic stores across the country, the launch of Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott‘s signature bikes, and the acquisition of online retailer Tredz and Wheelies.
“Good growth in cycling sales during the peak summer period was supported by new ranges, strong promotional activity, good weather and the success of Halfords‘ Olympic cycling heroes,” chief executive Jill Mcdonald said.
In other divisions Halfords also maintained growth, with its motoring retail section rising 0.6 per cent.
Despite travel solutions and car maintenance growing 1.6 and 4.9 per cent respectively, a 3.8 per cent drop in car enhancement brought the average down due to a continuing fall in sat nav sales.
Its autocentres division rose by 1.8 per cent in like-for-like sales, reportedly fitting a battery everytwo minutes Halfords was open.
“I am pleased to report a solid year-to-date trading performance, with group sales up 4.8 per cent and service-related sales in double-digit growth as we continue to strengthen Halfords‘ position as the first choice for customers‘ journeys,” McDonald said.
“We continue to make good progress on our strategic initiatives; we can now match 25 per cent of our retail sales to specific customers compared to only three per cent last year and in recent weeks we have successfully piloted contactless payments and also launched the new Cycle Republic website.”