Halford\'s in trouble - sean
Halfords have announced the redundancies of 260 staff following the company\'s acquisition by CVC Partners, from Boots, last year.

CVC also own Kwik-Fit and rumours of a merger of the two businesses are, as yet, unconfirmed.
Halford's in trouble - volvoman
Bet you a pint Boots will follow their lead very soon.
Halford's in trouble - king arthur
Oh great, I can see it now:

"I'd just like to buy this car shampoo, please."
"Looks like you need some wax polish to go with that, sir, and you're getting low on wheel cleaner and glass polish, too. And I've just added this upholstery cleaner to your bill too, even though you didn't ask for it..."
Halford's in trouble - sean
Fantastic, King Arthur, and spot on.

V, I always thought of Boots as a woman's shop. Boy, can they spend. Right again though, the likes of Tesco and Asda are hurting them.
Halford's in trouble - bertj
Some years ago Halfords used to be an excellent shop. In the last five years they have declined into a car and bicycle poseurs boutique. The spares and accessories are outrageous in price and their own branded goods (filters, wipers, etc.) are often of poor quality. They even charge more for oil than my VW dealer does and that's saying something! The level of service has also declined. The last time I asked for information about oil types I was told to look at the shelf data sheet. When I said that I'd already looked, I was rewarded with a shrug of the shoulders. Halfords became very much a place of last resort. I won't miss Halfords but I'm sorry for the people who are losing their jobs.
Halford's in trouble - Andrew-T
Why are you sorry for the job-losers if all they did was shrug?
Halford's in trouble - smokie
Probably cos there's not much demand for shruggers these days.
Halford's in trouble - M.M
Sean have you an info source for those 260 job losses...or a link perhaps?

Halfords did get it wrong with a couple of own brand product lines (and these iffy items are well known in the trade) but a huge percentage of their stuff was from well known major makers and of decent quality...agreed they've always lumped the oil prices up though.

Halford's in trouble - sean
Yes,MM, the article is posted in "Car Mechanics" Aug 2003 edition, page 13, "News in brief"
Halford's in trouble - M.M
Hmm not a source I'd stake my life on!

Anyway I think this refers to a batch of job losses from the first look the new owners had at things, these are now done and dusted . I don't think it refers to another 260.

Of course things can change overnight with "investor" ownership so I suppose more could come.

Halfords could be good if they got it right. Sadly they see profit in areas* a distance away from the core business of car parts/accs for the old gits (me).

*Bart Simpson air freshners, go faster bits and thumping stereo units.

Halford's in trouble - DavidHM
What exactly are Halfords for?

As far as I can tell, they have two problems. Firstly, cars are becoming harder to work on and cheaper/easier to buy new, meaning there's much less reason for DIY mechanics and parts purchases.

Secondly, those that still do DIY work or are in the trade are very, very sensitive to quality and price - which is fair enough, or we'd all just go to the franchise guys.

The only advantages that I can see they have over other shops and suppliers is that they're open longer hours (evenings and Sundays) and offer finance on larger purchases - despite the extortionate APR and high prices, it appeals to the boy racer brigade.

IMO they need to close their town centre branches, which are too small to carry an effective range, reduce prices of parts and maybe move away from own brand to OE style suppliers (Valeo, Bosch, etc.), have a greater internet presence, and improve customer service and staff training.

If a comparative minnow like GSF or euro can put its range online, Halfords definitely can. As they are selling to enthusiasts who read magazines, be it Car Mechanics or Max Power, they need to sell to people who are at least aware of the prices they can get elsewhere, even if it means charging a small premium for immediate service.

Some of those will reduce margins per item of course, but the problem appears to be that their fixed costs are too high for the volumes they're shifting, rather than they're not making enough profit per item as others are apparently managing on far less.

Obviously the greatest volume could come from selling to people who don't know the market and have no idea what products should cost - but they just don't buy their own bits or accessories any more.

Value my car