// Halfords earmarks 60 stores for closure despite publishing rising sales last week
// Closures will include both garages & retail shops
// Staff are expected to be moved to other shops
Halfords has reportedly earmarked 60 sites for closures after revealing earlier this month that it would ramp up its store closure scheme due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Telegraph, the closures will include both garages and retail shops, with staff expected to be moved to other shops.
The cycle and car parts retailer is also reportedly in the process of renegotiating store leases that are due for renewal.
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Prior to Covid-19, Halfords was planning to shut around six sites per year.
However, earlier this month it revealed it was now speeding up the “right-sizing” of its store portfolio.
Last week Halfords revealed in its full year results a sales rise of 0.3 per cent to £1.14 billion for the year to April 3.
Meanwhile underlying profit before tax fell 4.9 per cent to £52.6 million, as the retailer was hit by the beginning of the pandemic in the UK.
The retailer, which was classed as essential, was initially closed but then decided to open during the lockdown period in the UK.
During the 13 weeks to July 3, sales were down 2.8 per cent compared to last year.
Like-for-like sales dropped 6.5 per cent, while underlying pre-tax profit was down 4.9 per cent to £55.9 million.
Halfords reported 200 per cent surge in online shopping plus a 57 per cent jump in cycling sales during the lockdown period as Brits avoided public transport, but the boost was offset by a sharp drop in motoring sales.
The surge of bikes in lockdown helped offset the fall in its motoring revenues. It also sold more electric scooters with sales up by 220pc compared to last year.
Bike sales rose 57pc in the 13 weeks to July 3 as people sought to avoid public transport.