Halfords has reportedly confirmed plans to close up to 60 stores and garages.
The retailer is accelerating plans to withdraw from one in ten of its sites, and said it hoped to move staff to other branches, reports the Guardian, but the closures could lead to hundreds of job losses.
“COVID-19 has materially changed the retail outlook for the coming months and has overshadowed Brexit as the emerging risk,” said a statement.
Halfords has already closed its Cycle Republic and Boardman Performance Centre operations, with Pure Electric taking over 11 of the Cycle Republic stores. The new e-scooter and e-bike high street stores opened across the UK between 19th and 24th June.
Earlier this month, Halfords reported strong growth in cycling sales, up 57.1% on a LFL basis, significantly boosted by the avoidance of public transport, favourable weather conditions and increased adoption of cycling as a health and leisure activity during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Group sales for the 13 weeks to 3rd July were down 2.8% compared to last year and down 6.5% on a LFL basis, “significantly better” than anticipated in late-March, Halfords said.
The chain currently has 843 sites, 472 of which are stores, employing around 10,000 people across the UK.
Read the July edition of BikeBiz below: