It’s hard to see the silver linings when faced with a global pandemic, but there are a few.
As the country gets to grips with the new normal, one of the positive side effects has been the growing popularity of cycling.
According to figures from the Department of Transport, the number of people cycling increased by as much as 300% on some days since lockdown restrictions started lifting.
Cycling boom impacts sales
Since the start of the pandemic, Halfords have reported a significant rise in the sale of bikes as more of us swap four wheels for two.
Prompted largely by the restrictions on using public transport, the company saw it’s cycling sales increase by 71% in August.
According to Halfords, these ‘favourable market shifts’ are the result of people looking for bus and train alternatives and wanting to get healthy, as well as the government’s Fix Your Bike voucher scheme.
Meanwhile, Evans Cycles – which provided thousands of free bicycle MOTs for key workers throughout the pandemic – has also seen a huge spike in sales. The company is expanding fast, with new stores popping up over the past few months in both Leicester and Newcastle.
Some of the demand can also be attributed to the government’s Better Health campaign. Designed to reduce obesity and save lives, it encourages people to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, such as cycling to work and getting more exercise.
Staycations boost demand for car services
Halfords has also seen increased demand for its car services – in part because many of us swapped holidays abroad for staycations this summer.
The company’s car retail sales saw a significant boost as individuals invested in bike racks and roof boxes (rather than airline-approved cabin bags) in preparation for holidays in the UK.
Halfords also reported a 30% rise in the number of services it carried out on cars, after many vehicles were left relatively unused during April and May.
In the early days of lockdown, sales at Halfords autocentres were down by a fifth. However, trade has since bounced back by 54.7% in July and 65.2% in August. Total sales in the company’s autocentres are also up by 30.2% this year to date.
As a result, Halfords expects its half-year profits to be between £35 and £40 million, up from £27.5 million last year.
Communication makes anything possible
The company is now preparing for the winter months – not generally a time when we see a high demand for cycling products and prep for staycations. However, with creative and imaginative marketing campaigns, we know the company can continue to make an impact and maintain sales.
If you’d like to find out more about how Delta Group can help your business harness visual communications and technology to boost sales email firstname.lastname@example.org.