Halfords sales rose almost 14% to £1.3bn in its financial year to April 2 off the back off a surge in cycle sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer highlighted in particular a 94% rise in demand for e-bikes, e-scooters and accessories during this period.
Last year’s lockdown saw a significant reduction in the use of public transport combine with a surge in leisure cycling to create a sharp rise in UK bike sales.
Halfords has reported a rise in overall bike sales of 54.1%. This offset a 12.1% drop in like-for-like sales within its retail motoring business.
The retailer also believes that "pent-up" demand for bikes and continuing restrictions on foreign travel should support future sales.
It has however warned that supply challenges for cycling products remain “acute”.
“Covid-19 was clearly the most significant challenge faced by any retailer, but we have also faced Brexit, container shortages, port congestion and more recently, the blockage of the Suez canal,” said chief executive Graham Stapleton.
The retailer has however tripled its bike-building capacity to help meet demand and Stapleton said the firm had already bought in enough e-bikes and e-scooters to support another 90%-plus rise in sales this year.