Halfords will reopen a portion of its stores across the country shortly having closed all branches back on March 23rd.
Trials that took place in Peterborough and Bristol gave the retailer reason to believe that it can function with physical distancing rules in place in store. It is now expected that up to 53 stores will be back to a new normal and trading by Friday this week.
Non-essential retailers in England will be permitted by the UK Government to open as of June 15th, as announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week.
“We are pleased to be in a position to start letting our customers back into our stores,” said Halfords Chief Executive Graham Stapleton. “However, we are going to be reopening them to our customers gradually and cautiously in order to be absolutely certain that our colleagues and customers have a safe environment in which to work and shop.”
While bike shops have been one of the exemptions on the Governments designated essential services since March, customers have only had a limited physical service from the chain’s 446 branches. Very often customers would have to order online prior to picking goods up outside the store.
Stapleton’s comments on cycling mirrored the rest of the cycling world’s fortunes during lockdown. He said: “There has been a big surge in demand for our bike products and services as people have taken to cycling during the lockdown, both for commuting and fun.”
The chain now anticipates motoring demand will now surge as people return to the roads having been limited for weeks on end.
While Halfords branches will reopen, Cycle Republic will be a notable absence, with the chain to be wound down alongside the Boardman Performance Centre. Electric mobility chain Pure Electric has taken on 11 of Cycle Republic’s stores in London.
The Halfords stores set to open are:
Edinburgh – Straiton
Leicester, St Margarets
Liverpool, Edge Lane