Halfords has found a new owner for 11 of its Cycle Republic stores as the company plans to get rid of its performance cycling businesses.
In March, retailer Halfords announced it planned to close all its high street cycle shops and the Boardman Performance Centre to free up money to focus on motoring, putting 226 jobs at risk.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
On Monday (April 20), Halfords then revealed it would transfer ownership of 11 of its 22 Cycle Republic stores to electric scooter retailer Pure Electric, saving 85 jobs.
Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said: “We’re pleased to have secured this agreement with Pure Electric. Our key priority throughout this process is to mitigate as many redundancies as possible. Not only does this agreement safeguard the employment of 85 of our Cycle Republic colleagues, but it is helping to secure the future of a number of retail sites across the country.
“We will continue to do everything that we can to redeploy other colleagues who are impacted by our proposal elsewhere within our business.”
The 11 Cycle Republic stores – Bristol, Birmingham, Derby, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich and Southampton – will become Pure Electric stores by early summer 2020.
Launched only 14 months ago by entrepreneur Adam Norris, Pure Electric now also stocks e-bikes including the Brompton Electric.
Norris said: “The world of mobility is moving incredibly fast and we’re absolutely committed to being at the forefront of this exciting sector by opening prime city-centre locations.
“Our products have the potential to have a huge positive impact on our transport system. Recently, we’ve seen the role that e-scooters and bicycles have had in providing transport to key workers across the UK, helping them avoid public transport where risk of [coronavirus] transmission is much higher.”
Halfords has not offered an update on the fate of the Boardman Performance Centre in Evesham, which offers a broad spectrum of cycling testing, including aerodynamic testing in the wind tunnel.
Former Olympian Chris Boardman said he plans to find a new owner for the performance centre.
But Halfords added it continues to consult with other staff affect by the proposed closure of store and it plans to avoid redundancies where possible by redeploying staff to other areas of the business.
Halfords plans to switch its focus to the online cycling retailer Tredz by increasing investment.