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Retail FreeView - Can Halfords shift up from the granny gear to improve its cycling proposition?


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Retail FreeView - Can Halfords shift up from the granny gear to improve its cycling proposition?

  1. 1. June 14, 2012 Verdict Retail FreeView A synopsis of retail news and opinion About us Verdict is a retail information This week highlights how necessary it is for retailers to be constantly generating new growth initiatives specialist within the Informa Group. and finding new customer touch points – there is no room for complacency in retail today. H&M is With almost 30 years experience, launching another designer tie up, Debenhams and Sainsbury’s are extending their multi-channel Verdict publishes unrivalled reach, and Ted Baker’s investment in international expansion is paying off. Meanwhile Tesco is trying independent analysis. We provide a complete picture of the UK and to recover the ground it has lost to competitors in the UK with new investment in stores and customer increasingly the international retail service. No retailer can afford to stand still. arena, helping retailers, Maureen Hinton, Verdict Practice Leader manufacturers, service suppliers, analysts, and consultants to fully exploit opportunities within the “It’s not a surprise that Clinton Cards has been sold to American industry. Greetings. It was an aggressive bit of business, but American Greetings had lost all confidence in the management and wanted Latest analysis to protect its UK sales outlets.” • John Lewis | Verdict Company Briefing Patrick O’Brien, Verdict Principal Analyst on BBC News, June 7 • Primark Clothing | Customer Insight • Footwear Retailing in the UK | Verdict “Menswear sales are holding up during the recession because it’s Market Report been a very difficult economic climate, and men are more • Waitrose Food & Grocery | Customer interested in looking good at work and for when they’re going for Insight interviews. They want to look the part and invest in good suits. Men are being far more influenced by celebrities such as Gary Barlow • UK Out Of Town Retailing and David Beckham more frequently donning suits. In the past 10 • Womenswear Retailing in the UK | years, we have seen a move away from casual towards a smarter, Verdict Market Report well-dressed look.” Sarah Peters, Verdict Lead Analyst in Retail Week, June 1Web: | Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 | Email:
  2. 2. June 14, 2012 Verdict View Can Halfords shift up from the granny gear to improve its cycling proposition? By Andrew Stevens, Retail Analyst Halfords had a difficult 2011/12 as revenue declined, Halfords has identified six groups of bike customers: Secondly, Halfords lags behind in terms of staff and the start of 2012/13 looks bleak with disappointing parents, family cyclists, leisure cyclists, sports and fitness expertise. If you go to any local bike shop or national sales. This has especially been the case in cycling, cyclists, traveler/commuter cyclists, and enthusiasts. specialist such as Evans or Cycle Surgery, you will be Halfords only growing retail division last year. It has The two groups that the company feels it should invest served by bike enthusiasts who are keen to talk about announced a new objective to be "the best bike shop in targeting – traveler/commuter and sports and fitness cycling. This enthusiasm is the reason why many smaller in town"; however, intense competition on range and cyclists – are sensible choices, with an average annual bike shops still exist, and is a fundamental reason why price mean that it will struggle to capture the UKs spend of £184 ($286) and £206 ($320) per year per Halfords will struggle. Furthermore, online specialists broad cycling tastes. cyclist within each respective group according to have the scale and the reduced overheads to be Halfords own research. By focusing on these core able to offer massive discounts, spend-and-save offers, In its most recent set of results, Halfords announced a segments, Halfords will be able to create a well- and reduced prices on last years products, something decline in annual retail sales of 2.3%, contributing to a targeted positioning; however, it runs the risk of that Halfords is unable to do. decline in group revenue of 0.3% for the year to March alienating a large proportion of cyclists by not focusing 31, 2012. Leisure was the only retail division that saw on some of the customer groups that it has previously Unfortunately for Halfords, without being "the only bike growth in the year at 5.0%, driven largely by a strong been unable to attract. shop," or "only a bike shop," it will struggle to achieve its performance in cycling where like-for-like trading objective of being "the best bike shop in town." While increased by 9.7%. Over the past few years, there has been vast growth its Boardman and Pendleton ranges will be subject to among pureplay online cycling specialists such as demand during the 2012 Summer Olympics due to the Cycling is an important revenue generator for Halfords, and, as well pull of the athletes associated with them, Halfords is and indeed one element of its new three-pillar as strong multichannel players such as Evans Cycles likely to find itself in the same place again next year, strategy is to become "the best bike shop in town." and Snow + Rocks Cycle Surgery. While these retailers unable to keep up with the peloton as its competitors However, with current trading for the start of its core offerings appear to be positioned at the more continue to grow. financial year – two months to May 31 – being very serious end of the market, their vast ranges appeal to disappointing especially in the cycling and leisure many. divisions, it is questionable whether this objective is achievable. Halfords faces competitive pressure from As well as impressive ranges, these specialists have two the value proposition offered by supermarkets, the vast key attributes that Halfords is far away from matching. range and discounting offered by online specialists, Firstly, Halfords is unable to secure multinational and the niche offer from "local" bike shops. brands: the big names that "pull in the punters" from the casual cyclist to the semi-professional racer.Web: | Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 | Email:
  3. 3. June 14, 2012 News Review Clothing & Accessories the Netherlands and South Korea. Further international stores are planned By Kate Ormrod for Ted Baker in the US, Canada, and Asia, which will help to mitigate poor consumer confidence and squeezed disposable incomes in the UK. H&M to launch collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela Swedish clothing retailer H&M has announced plans to collaborate with French avant-garde designer label Maison Martin Margiela. The collection, UK department store to roll out Wi-Fi across 167 stores consisting of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, will launch on Debenhams has announced plans to launch free Wi-Fi across its entire UK November 15, 2012 in 230 stores worldwide and also online. Prior to the store network, in conjunction with telecommunications company O2. While Margiela collaboration will come an accessories collection with Vogue competitors Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have already begun to roll this Japan fashion director Anna Dello Russo, called AdR for H&M, on October 4, technology out, Debenhams will have the widest Internet coverage of any 2012, indicating that H&M is shortening the designer collaboration cycle. department store in the country. The rollout follows a successful trial in three department stores in the UK, with the retailer’s app also proving popular, The collaboration will enable Margiela to raise its profile considerably, achieving 1 million downloads. This move will allow consumers to browse although it is somewhat surprising considering the label has historically never online in any of Debenhams’ 167 UK stores, and access information on sought to become mass-market and has never even advertised before – products such as size availability, and special offers. It further cements the indicating that it is quite a coup for H&M. The announcement has once multichannel approach needed in retail today and blurs the line between again ignited consumer interest in H&M’s designer collaborations, and with online and instore shopping, changing the way consumers shop. renewed success after last year’s Marni range and the earlier Versace collection, these one-off collaborations are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Food & Grocery By Cliona Lynch Ted Baker revenues grow due to international expansion Tesco continues to struggle as l-f-l sales remain negative British clothing brand Ted Baker has reported a 14.6% increase in group Tesco has now posted its fourth consecutive quarter of declining like-for-like revenues for the 19 weeks to June 9, 2012, with retail revenues being the sales as it admitted that the changes it had implemented in the 13 week largest contributor to overall growth at 16.2%. Wholesale revenue growth period to May 26 – including store refurbishments, additional staff, and its re- was at 8.9% against strong comparatives, and was driven largely by the vamped “everyday value” range – have yet to reap rewards. International continued growth of the retailer’s US wholesale operations. International markets for the retailer have performed relatively well, with Ireland posting its expansion is both a driver of growth and a priority for the retailer; indeed, first quarter of growth since 2010, and Fresh & Easy in the US continuing to average square footage increased by 12.0%, driven mainly by new space in deliver growth for the group. the US, Spain, Ireland, and Japan, and concessions in department stores inWeb: | Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 | Email:
  4. 4. June 14, 2012 News Review Tesco points to high levels of couponing in the UK market as a key difficulty. product, Ocado and indeed Birdseye would need to be careful, restricting While competitor activity in this type of promotional activity is strong, Tesco’s the number of animations on the website so as not to distract customers. weaknesses extend beyond this. The six point plan to change Tesco’s However, the animations will be useful for both Birdseye and Ocado as they fortunes remains relevant, but the ability to turn a ship as big as Tesco will seek to draw attention to particular products, something that is more hinder a quick turnaround in fortunes. This update represents a steady difficult to do online than it is instore. performance but the ability of the grocer to rectify weaknesses in the UK market will not be evident until later in 2012. Electricals & Entertainment By Matthew Rubin El Corte Inglés announces major price cuts Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés has announced a major price cutting Sainsbury’s enters e-book market initiative across its department store food halls, convenience stores, Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket chain, has made a surprising hypermarkets, and supermarkets. Almost 5,000 grocery and health and entrance into the e-book market with the acquisition of HMV’s shareholding beauty products will be discounted by around 20.0% in a move toward a in Anobii, an online retailer of e-books. Sainsbury’s purchased the stake for more permanent lower pricing policy for the retailer. All fresh produce will just £1 ($1.55), as the Anobii venture was loss-making for HMV. This be subject to a weekly price review, while other grocery, household goods, acquisition gives it a 64% stake in the company. Despite having a relatively and cosmetics will be reviewed fortnightly, and while the retailer low profile in the UK, Anobii is popular in Hong Kong and Germany, and has appreciates it may not always be the cheapest, it has said it is sure that a library of 60,000 e-books and over 600,000 users worldwide. The grocery customers will react, resulting in a gain in volumes. While the move appears retailer has stated that the deal supports its drive into the growing online to be measured from El Corte Inglés, it must be wary and learn from the and digital entertainment market. The acquisition also enables the retailer to example of Tesco, which recently announced wide-reaching price cuts become more competitive with rival Tesco, which already has its own e- across its food and grocery ranges, only to be stung by a decline in profits as book site. However Anobii’s use of social media, allowing members to rate, sufficient volume was not generated. The frequent review of prices should review, and share their choices with one another, both on the site itself and help El Corte Inglés to monitor its margins closely, and enable it to react on a number of other social networking sites, differentiates it from quickly if necessary. competitors. Ocado and Birdseye team up for online “gondola end” Dixons Retail to launch range with Tinchy Stryder Pureplay online grocer Ocado has teamed up with frozen food European electricals retailer Dixons Retail has collaborated with UK rapper manufacturer Birdseye and design agency jkr in order to develop animation Tinchy Stryder on a range of products including headphones and travel for Birdseye’s products on the retailer’s website. It is a move away from the speakers under its own-brand label Goji. The collection, called Goji Tinchy traditional packaging shot used for online grocery shopping, and the short Stryder: On Cloud 9, will launch headphones in mid-July 2012, with the travel animation features the Birdseye mascot – a polar bear named Clarence – speakers launching later on in the year, and both will be available in when a consumer hovers over a packet of Birdseye fish fingers. While arguably the animation would draw a consumer’s eye to a particularWeb: | Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 | Email:
  5. 5. June 14, 2012 News Review Currys and PC World stores and online. This complements the existing Goji same period, now at around €56m ($70m). Atlantic is part of Grafton PLC, a range of headphones and iPad cases. The retailer is clearly trying to group that operates several fascias in the Home & DIY sectors across Ireland emulate the success of rapper Dr Dre’s Beats by Dr Dre premium and the UK, and Grafton is keen to re-structure the Atlantic business in order headphones, which launched in 2006 and have proved popular in the UK, to maximize its potential for survival. It is likely that the retailer will have to with stockists including HMV, Argos, and Dixons Retail itself. This new range close some of its eight stores as part of the examinership process; however, provides Dixons Retail with increased exclusivity for its private label Goji, and this hinges solely on the agreements made between the high court in the retailer will be able to utilize Tinchy Stryder’s celebrity status and Ireland, Atlantic’s creditors, and any potential investors. endorsement to raise brand awareness and boost sales. Home & DIY By Andrew Stevens Joint Dobbies and Tesco store in planning phase Tesco has submitted plans to build its first supermarket store alongside a branch of Dobbies, its garden center subsidiary. The store, proposed for Kings Lynn in Norfolk, UK, will have a single entrance, allowing customers to Stay in touch visit both retailers, which will be joined by a restaurant operated by Dobbies. If planning is approved, it will be a unique store for both retailers and will be an indicator for Tesco as to whether the concept is viable for further Contact us to see how we can help expansion of the format. Dobbies currently has 32 stores across Scotland, Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 England, and Northern Ireland, so any collaboration with Tesco would vastly Email: improve the retailer’s ability to expand into new locations. Share your views with our analysts and the Verdict community through our social media channels. Atlantic Homecare files for examinership LinkedIn Troubled Irish DIY retailer Atlantic has filed for examinership, stating that Twitter upward-only rent reviews on its existing leases have meant that it has struggled to maintain control over its operating costs. Indeed, the retailer Sign up to our emails for news from the UK and across the globe. has made a loss since 2007, and its turnover has declined by 44.0% in the Verdict FreeViewWeb: | Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9664 | Email: