- Halfords move for bigger slice of cycle market
I was surfing around last night looking for a black Hope K brake adaptor (rear post mount 140-160) when Halfords popped up as an option. That’s a bit funny I thought. Something of an obscure and rather high end part for Halfords and the price was as good as anywhere else I could find. Then I saw that they had the FSA headset that I also needed at the same price as CRC. Finally I saw that I could pay for it online and it would be at my local store from lunchtime on Friday, ready for me to pick up whenever I wanted.
We’ll see how the actual collection goes, but I’m guessing that Halfords pay more tax in the UK than CRC. So, if they keep offering the kit I want at competitive prices they may well get more of my business in future.Posted 4 years agoroverpigSubscriber
Thanks mattjg. My Tax comment was rather ill conceived. I had a vague notion that CRC were based in Ireland and assumed that, like Google etc, this was in order to take advantage of very low tax rates and “avoid” paying tax in the UK. But if they are in NI then I guess that’s not the case.Posted 4 years agoandyhbikesMember
I can only speak for my store all my staff ride and are pasonate about bikes 2 of us can even build wheels don’t judge every branch the same because they are not !
There is too much look what bike I’ve got on here yes I’m lucky enough to own a Santa Cruz heckler full St hope and fox finished but I also ride a voodoo aizan 29 er
The best thing is my road bike everyone looks at the name and go carrera but how many road bikes only weigh 7.2 kg with pedals .
Try your branch if you don’t find them help full ask to speak to the manager because as a company we are growing and getting betterPosted 4 years agoDT78Member
So popped into store on lunch break, showed threads coming loose on bibs. Offered a refund or replacement immediately. No stock in store but ordered in said probably tomorrow we will give you a call. Phone call 9.30am next day your order is here.
Not much more I could ask for to be honest. Warranty returns with wiggle and crc have always been dealt with promptly too but usually involve queuing in post office waiting for it to be processed and then heading to the depot to pick it up.
If halfords keep up their 20% discounts on all products they are worth a look for next bike purchases. Shame the ctc discount can’t be used online (or can it?)Posted 4 years agoesher shoreMember
thanks for your input, and I agree don’t judge all stores the same; this is true of Halfords, Evans, Cycle Surgery and other chain stores.
You will get a number of passionate and experienced staff in some stores, in other stores its just hopeless as they cannot attract and retain good staff. This is primarily caused by the attitude of the bicycle industry towards staffing, which is that staff are disposable assets and there will always be “someone” else out there looking for a job.
Where you have good staff in store, these are at times people who don’t want / require a salary increase, or have enough passion to overlook the problems within the company because these people simply want to do a professional job.
The people that actually own these large chains are venture capitalists like CVC Capital Partners (Halfords), Active LPP (Evans) and Legal and General Ventures (Snow & Rock / Cycle Surgery)
With senior board management brought in from outside the industry to oversee the “investment” with no understanding of the quirks and vagaries of the cycle industry, staffing is seen as a cost but not understood in terms of the immediate impact that deskilling your workforce has on customer experience and business profitability.
As I mentioned in a previous post you cannot operate a bicycle business (whether 1 store or a chain store) like you operate other retail businesses like rag trade or white goods. The nearest equivalent would be Maplin Electronics, who are due to be “poached” by a new Venture Capitalist, as Montagu Private Equity’s investment has run its course, due to the reduced profits from competition combined with detrimental deskilling of their workforce (they used to have very experienced long term staffers)
this problem really surfaces as the inconsistency of staff quality across different stores of the same company, which leaves the consumer in a situation where they cannot expect the same level of expertise and service when visiting different stores of the same company
when I left Evans last year, they were interviewing sales staff using a diagram of a bicycle with various components numbered 1 through 10. e.g. saddle was #4.
I believe scoring 6/10 was enough to secure a job, as long as you were prepared to accept the terms of the contract
mechanics were no longer receiving Cytech training, because it gave them a sellable qualification, now they get “Evans Training Academy” which is worthless outside of the company, allows the company to boast that their workshop staff are “qualified”, but more importantly places a barrier for competent staff to make an easy jump to a competitorPosted 4 years agoMrSynthpopMember
I wondered what was up when I noticed they were getting premium brands in on the webstore. Tbh my experience of halfords is no better or worse than my LBS having bought bikes at both.
Cycle Republic (in york) was a good effort from Halfords – got some massive bargains when it closed but was sad to see it go.Posted 4 years ago
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