The Halfords logo since 2001
That's helpful, that's halfords
|Public (LSE: HFD)|
|Founder||F W Rushbrooke|
|Headquarters||Redditch, England, United Kingdom|
|Products||Ripspeed, Bicycles and accessories, SatNav, Car audio, Tools, Child seats etc.|
|Services||Bicycle repair, vehicle part fitting, audio installation, paint mixing|
|Profit||£80.8 million (2014)|
Number of employees
Halfords Group plc is a retailer of car parts, car enhancement, camping, touring and bicycles operating in the UK and Ireland. They also provide MOT, service and repairs in the United Kingdom, through Halfords Autocentre. Halfords Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company was founded by Frederick Rushbrooke in Birmingham in 1892 as a wholesale ironmongery. In 1902, Rushbrooke moved to a store on Halford Street in Leicester, for which street the company was named, and started selling cycling goods.
The company became a part of Burmah Oil in 1969, following a takeover battle between Burmah and Smiths Industries. During this time, Denis Thatcher, husband of the future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was a non-executive director.
The company was acquired by Ward White Group in 1983 and subsequently acquired by the Boots Group in 1991. In July 2002, it was then taken over by CVC Capital Partners, and in June 2004, it was floated on the London Stock Exchange. In 2003, Halfords dropped the blue, white and red branding, in favour of a new black and orange logo. However, the 'new' logo had been used since the previous year, but it did not come into effect until 2003.
On 11 July 2005, Halfords entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Autobacs Seven Co., a Japan-based car accessory retailer with chains of stores all over the world and who is best known in other countries that do not have an Autobacs store for being the title sponsorship of Super GT and D1 Grand Prix. On 13 December 2005 Autobacs acquired 5% (11,400,000 shares) of the company at approximately ¥7.5 billion.
In 2007, Halfords opened its first shop in Central Europe, in a village near Prague. In the next two years, it opened five more stores in the Czech Republic and one in Poland (Wrocław, 2008). Expansion into Central Europe was seen as an opportunity because the cars on the road tend to be slightly older there, so people would be more adept at car maintenance. However, in 2010 it terminated these activities already, after the losses made in the initial years were deemed too high and a new management wanted to focus on the domestic market. The Czech locations were sold to the Austrian company Fastbox.
On 18 February 2010, the company announced a deal to purchase the Nationwide Autocentre MOT chain, from the private equity firm Phoenix. The plan was to rebrand the centres under the Halfords name, and open another 200. As of April 2015, there are over 250 Halfords Autocentre garages dealing with MOTs, car repairs and servicing.
Today, Halfords has two business units: Halfords Retail (the original chain of shops) and Halfords Autocentres.
Since 2010, Halfords Retail has operated around 465 stores, of which about 22 are in the Republic of Ireland and the others in the United Kingdom.
The group use the following sub-brands as part of their portfolio: Bikehut, Boardman Bikes, 13 Bikes, Carrera bicycles, Apollo, Trax, Victoria Pendelton, Urban Escape, Exodus, Pampero, Sendai, Ripspeed.
The team won the BTCC overall Drivers Championship in 2005 and 2006, with driver Matt Neal. In 2007, Halfords sponsored the Team Dynamics BTCC racing team under the name of Team Halfords and in 2008, Halfords started sponsoring a mixed professional bike team, Team Halfords Bikehut, headed by Nicole Cooke, which disbanded ahead of the 2010 season.
- "Preliminary Results 2014" (PDF). Halfords. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "And it's all thanks to a passion for a penny-farthing bicycle". London: Times Online. 30 May 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- Halfords cleans up in bid to woo women drivers Daily Mail, 21 September 2006
- "Announcement of Collaboration Agreement with Halfords Group plc". Autobacs Seven Co. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "Announcement of Acquisition of Stocks of Halfords Group plc". Autobacs Seven Co. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- Thompson, James (6 June 2008). "Halfords looking to branch out into Central Europe as sales buck downward trend". London: Independent Online. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
- "Halfords leaving Czech Rep and Poland after three years, focusing on domestic market". Autofox. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014. See also links on the bottom of that article; see also James Moore (24 March 2010). "Investment Column: Halfords rides away from central Europe". The Independent. Retrieved 25 August 2014..
- Halfords buys car servicing firm Nationwide Autocentres BBC News Online. 18 February 2010
- "4 June 2014 Last updated at 18:05 Halfords takes over Boardman Bikes for undisclosed sum". BBC News. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Acquisition of Boardman Bikes will shift gear at Halfords". www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Farrell, Sean (23 March 2015). "Halfords hires McDonald's UK boss". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- According to the Annual Report 2009, there were 466 stores including six in Central Europe and 22 in Ireland. In 2010, there were 462 shops left, all in the British islands (Halfords Annual Report 2010). This number had grown to 466 in 2013, according to the Annual Report of that year.
- BTCC action: Matt Neal
- Team Halfords field pair of Honda Civics BTCC, 13 March 2007
- Halfords backs Cooke for Glory Cycling Weekly, 8 January 2008
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