Halfords in trouble? Why not support you Local Bike Shop (LBS)? There is yet another reason to support your Local Bike Shop (LBS) in the light of Halfords finding themselves in a spot of controversy….
Halfords have always had difficulty in being taken seriously as a retailer of bicycles, especially the medium and more upmarket products. Significant efforts and investment has been made to expand their ranges and offer cycles which are a little further up in the ranges. Carerra, Boardman and even Victoria Pendleton supplies Halfords with her feminine range.
And yet Halfords are reported in the Telegraph, who have seen supporting letters, to be asking their suppliers to pay 10% of their sales with Halfords in what is over and above their contractual amounts. The Forum of Private Business said it was “extremely concerned” by the letter and urged the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the practice. Halfords have further plans for investing in their business and are effectively demanding their suppliers pay for it.
I feel for the suppliers concerning this development and Hobsons choice, catch 22 spring to mind here. No doubt Halfords are not alone with this practice, which is not hard to imagine being dressed up or some spin being applied to lessen the negative news this brings. Allowing businesses to grow together, investing in our mutual, joint growth all spring to mind.
This all amounts to another reason to favour decent LBS in our towns. Thankfully many are weathering the economic conditions but I still don’t think it’s easy for them. Those that make real efforts to be helpful, provide good personal service at a fair price deserve to succeed. I would certainly miss my LBS (both of them) far more than Halfords.