Halfords reopens a further 100 Retail Lite stores this week

Halfords Store

Move comes as retailer reports increase in demand for e-bikes and e-scooters

Today Halfords has announced it is reopening a further 100 stores across the country, a move which follows last week's reopening of 53 stores. All 153 stores will have extensive social distancing measures in place, using an operating model that has been called "Retail Lite": https://www.halfords.com/customer-services/shopping-at-halfords/covid-19-updates.html

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.

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

  • Only a safe number of customers allowed in the store at any one time
  • Queue marshalling 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

The news comes as the retailer reports an increase in demand for e-mobility products, with e-bikes and e-scooters more than doubling year on year for last week.

Graham Stapleton, Halfords CEO says: "With lockdown restrictions lifting many of us are starting to think about returning to work and what our commutes will begin to look like and we've seen a big surge in demand for e-bikes and e-scooters. More members of the public are turning to e-bikes to help them commute to work as an affordable alternative to public transport or driving. We offer a wide range of e-bikes which can facilitate journeys of up to 60 miles on one charge. Over half the bikes sold in Germany are now electric, and we think the pandemic is accelerating the trend for all things electric in the UK. With e-bikes you still have to pedal but the difference is you can ride much further, hills will feel flatter and you'll arrive to work fresher."

"With our roads becoming slightly busier 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 expansion 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."

In addition to its retail stores, Halfords currently has 346 of its 373 garages, and 77 vans, operating under a contactless model.

A short video with details on how Halfords has changed the ways its stores operate in line with the new model can be viewed here: https://www.halfords.com/customer-services/shopping-at-halfords/covid-19-updates.html