The 400-store chain guaranteed the re-launch project by promising to buy half of the 10 000 Choppers Raleigh is producing. Halfords will have demo bikes before IBDs because, as part of the 5000 bike deal, Raleigh and Halfords agreed that 400 stores would be supplied with air-freighted bikes, direct from the airport. Each store gets one Chopper. And Halfords has also been granted time-limited exclusivity. Product lands on 19th February and goes into Halfords stores on 23rd February. IBDs don't get Choppers until 7th April. NOTE: despite double checking these dates with Halfords, Raleigh advised on Tuesday they are wrong and will provide revisions and a new statement.

Chopper would have been smaller project without Halfords

Over on the bulletin board, Raleigh is being slated for shipping Choppers to Halfords before IBDs.

However, Halfords ordered 5000 bikes, and promised they would be offered at full retail for a number of months.

On average, it costs £40-50 per bike to fly bikes in from the Far East. This is compared to about £7 per bike for containerised sea-shipping.

Raleigh is hosting a press day for mainstream journalists, including TV, when the demo bikes are flown in, on 19th February.

Many IBDs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Halfords/Raleigh deal because the pre-orders for bikes IBDs have already taken will be likely cancelled when consumers realise Halfords will have stock up to a month before IBDs.

IBDs are also tied to buying tag-on P&A and Raleigh bikes if they want Chopper stock.

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