ref="http://www.cityam.com/company/halfords">HALFORDS is to start selling cycle clothing in its stores as well as online as the retailer looks to take on its specialist rivals and increase its share in the £1.4bn-a-year UK cycling market.
Matt Davies, who took over as chief executive in October, is expected to update the City with more detailed plans for growing the cycling business when presenting his maiden set of full-year results later this month.
The FTSE 250 group is already the UK’s largest bike retailer, selling more than 190 models including Pinarello – the same brand used by Bradley Wiggins – and ranges designed with Chris Boardman and Victoria Pendleton.
But it has a smaller share in the fast-growing cycle parts, accessories and clothing market, where it competes with independent shops and specialists such as Evans and online retailer Wiggle.
The retailer signed up 185 new brands including Adidas, Hi5 and Northwave at the end of last year and plans to broaden its range online from 750 current lines to 15,000 by this summer as part of its expansion drives.
It also plans to start selling branded clothing in stores, expand its click and collect service and install changing rooms.
Halfords, which trades from over 460 Halfords stores as well as 280 Autocentres, posted sales of online parts, accessory and clothing increased by 26.5 per cent in the fourth quarter to 29 March.