By Nigel Wynn
UK-based car part and bike retailer Halfords is to ditch its Bikehut and Cycle Republic branded stores despite a rise in sales of bicycles.
According to the company's trading statement released today, Halfords sold over one million bicycles in the UK across all of its stores and online trading outlet.
However, the company feels that its stand-alone cycle stores have been affected by competing against its own larger superstores and online sales, particularly of bike accessories.
Bikehut and Cycle Republic stores will be rebranded 'where appropriate' as Halfords Metro and continue trading.
The move comes as a surprise, as the company announced as recently as November last year that it was to launch 50 new cycle-only stores.
Despite a slight dip in overall sales compared to the previous year, Halfords announced that it expected to make a profit of just over £94-94.5million (pre-tax) for the year to April 3.
Halfords have been pleased with the performance of its in-house Boardman bikes over the past year, and have announced "an ongoing programme of premium brand introductions within the Group's existing core superstores".
Halfords Bikehut currently sponsors a British cycle racing team. No announcement has been made whether the move to axe the Bikehut brand will affect the sponsorship deal. Halfords was also unveiled as title sponsor of the British Cycling Premier Calendar series in March.
50 new bike stores for Halfords
Halfords to sponsor Premier Calendar
Halfords Bikehut team profile
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