Halfords, the leading retailer of cycling and motoring products and services in the UK, has reportedly become the latest big-name brand to report a drop in sales as a result of supply chain disruptions that have dogged the nation for a while now.
According to reports, the bikes-to-car parts and servicing company has also warned that its problems might take some time to be resolved. Compared to the same period last year, like-for-like bicycle sales fell by about 23% in the 20 weeks to August 20.
The firm stated further that while the number reflected tough comparisons because bikes were in greater demand for exercise at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the worldwide distribution troubles intensified towards the conclusion of the trade period.
Major supermarkets, Greggs, McDonald's, Wetherspoons, and Nando's, all have reported similar difficulties previously. The issues are connected to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are exacerbated by an acute worker shortage that is impeding economic bounce back from the global health emergency.
Halfords also mentioned some inconveniences caused by COVID-related absences of its employees. Despite the cycling setback, the firm claimed it was still benefiting from the rise in staycations.
It maintained its full-year pre-tax profit forecast of more than £75 million, owing to stronger sales in its retail mobility division.
Graham Stapleton, Chief Executive Officer of Halfords, stated that the first 20 weeks of FY22 achieved a solid trading performance despite a tremendously difficult background.
Although the firm's cycling business is being hit by significant upheaval in the global supply chain, as the UK's leading cycling store, Halfords is still well placed to adapt and serve its consumers, and the firm remains optimistic about the cycling market's long-term prospects. Stapleton added.
On the other hand, trading updates show that the share prices of Halfords, which has 404 stores across the UK, dropped by 2.4%.