Halfords expands as Brits get on their bikes

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The Independent Online

Halfords will massively expand its cycling clothing and accessories offer next year to capitalise on the interest in the sport which was inspired by the success of the Olympic medallists Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

The retail group is to tap into the growing trend of middle-aged men in Lycra, or Mamils, taking to the road, raising its clothing and parts offer to 13,000 items.

But the company still posted a 24 per cent fall in first-half profits to £41.9m. This was mainly because the wet summer hit bike sales before a strong rebound after the Games.

Dennis Millard, the chairman, said Halfords sells about one million bikes a year, but has only a 14 per cent share of the growing market for cycling accessories.

He added: "It is the Mamil effect, for sure. Cycling sales were obviously boosted by the Olympics."