Halfords witnesses bike sales slowdown
Rainy weather and heavy discounting have dampened demand for bicycles at retailer Halfords as the group revealed slumping bike sales over the past two months.
The chain said cycling sales dropped 11% on a like-for-like basis over the eight weeks to August 28, marking a sharp reversal of the 2% rise seen in the group's first quarter.
Halfords said it was hit by poor weather and high promotional activity, while the sales fall was also compounded by tough comparisons from a year earlier.
The result is a particular blow for the group, coming in its peak bike-selling season.
Shares in the FTSE 250-listed firm dropped as much as 8% after the bike sales warning.
It said: "The disappointing cycling performance was primarily driven by mainstream bikes, as well as associated parts and accessories.
"We consider this to be principally market-driven, reflecting greater levels of discounting as well as poor weather deterring casual cyclists."
Overall retail sales were 1.3% lower.