Halfords planning to close up to 60 stores this year because of coronavirus

HALFORDS has earmarked 60 more of its stores and garages for permanent closure before the end of this as the coronavirus crisis continues to hit its sales.

The retailer had already decided to close some stores during 2020, but said it will speed up store closures as a result of the global pandemic.

Bike sales have surged at Halfords, but it has lost money elsewhere

In previous years, it has been reducing the number of shops it has by around six each year.

But it is now accelerating what it calls “right-sizing of the group” and is in discussion with landlords about 60 of its stores.

At the moment, Halfords has 446 stores, as well as 371 garages.

It has not yet made public which branches will be closing in the latest round of cuts, but staff are expected to be moved to other shops.

It has already shut 22 Cycle Republic shops and got rid of five Halfords stores and garages this year, bringing its total planned closures for the whole of 2020 to 87.

It is also trying to secure rent reductions with landlords for some other stores, it said.

The company reported last week that bike sales had surged by 57.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to July 3 as people sought to avoid public transport and cycle instead.

Although Halfords did not have to stop trading because of coronavirus, because it was considered an essential retailer, its sales suffered overall.

A number of its outlets did close, although the retailer began reopening in May.

A big fall in motoring revenues meant that quarterly same-store sales declined 6.5 per cent overall in the same 13-week period.

It warned that in a worst case scenario, it could make a multi-million pound loss next year.

The lockdown period has hit a number of retailers: last week John Lewis announced that it would not reopen eight of its department stores.

And Boots is also cutting 4,000 jobs.

Here are all the shops which have closed for good during lockdown.