The near-Arctic recent weather froze sales of bikes at retailer Halfords in its final quarter but drove a spike in purchases of its car maintenance products, from batteries to windscreen wipers.
Chief executive Matt Davies said sales of its premium bikes endorsed by former Olympic champion Chris Boardman remained “resilient” but demand for its core bikes dropped along with the winter temperatures. He said: “The serious cyclist who is buying the Boardman bike is more likely to brave the weather. But families are not going out in the freezing weather.”
Halfords said cycling sales plummeted by 8.8 per cent over the 11 weeks to March 29 but car maintenance sales, including bulbs, rocketed by 10.4 per cent. This left its like-for-like retail sales up by just 0.3 per cent, while its Autocentres car repair business grew by 0.8 per cent. It said annual profits would be in line with expectations of between £68 million and £72 million in 2012-13, down on last year’s £92.2 million.
Halfords also sells an exclusive range of bikes designed by Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton.