Halfords is recruiting for 1,100 temporary jobs during the festive season
Halfords is on the hunt for more than 1,000 new members of staff
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Halfords is recruiting for 1,100 temporary jobs during the festive season amid a surge in demand for bikes.
In its latest results, the company reported a 148% increase in online sales, including a 184% rise in sales of electric bikes.
The temporary vacancies are in addition to the recruitment of a wide range of permanent service-related jobs across Halford's stores, Autocentres and mobile vans.
Andy McBride, Halfords' head of resourcing, said: "With the public turning to alternatives to public transport, this has led to extra demand for bikes and essential motoring services."
As an essential retailer, Halfords has been able to stay open all year
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Halfords offer 20% off selected bikes and scooters for kids ready for Christmas
Halfords cycling director Paul Tomlinson said: "There has been huge interest in cycling this year as the public seek alternatives to public transport and as a way of keeping fit.
"As a result we've seen a massive surge in demand and sales of bikes and cycling products.
"We have had tens of thousands of customers on waiting lists for deliveries and this has continued beyond the traditional summer peak, particularly for adult bikes as lockdown continues.
"Kids' and junior bikes also appear to be one of the most wanted Christmas presents this year.
"We've also seen e-bikes perform particularly well as many discover the benefits of a battery-powered bike ride."
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Halfords has emerged as one of the winners from lockdown as it reported its first half profits were more than double last year's.
The cars and bikes firm reported revenues of £638.9million in six months running to October 2, with profits before tax of £55.4million – up 101.5% on the same period last year.
Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: "We are very pleased to have achieved such a strong first half performance against the backdrop of one of the most challenging trading environments in recent history.
"It is a great testament to the strength and adaptability of our business, as well as to the professionalism, hard work and dedication of our colleagues."
And with people driving less, it was cycling that led the way.
Cycling revenue growth finished 54.4% higher like for like, with the strongest performance in e-mobility and cycle services.
"We have worked hard to capitalise on the cycling market tailwinds by sourcing more stock from existing and new suppliers, as well as launching new products and brands to serve the high level of demand for our cycling products and services," Stapleton said.
"Despite the headwinds we have seen in motoring, with UK traffic 30% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels and the impact of the MoT deferment, our 'Road Ready' campaign and the investments we have made in our motoring services business have enabled us to increase market share and grow the business in Q2."