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30 Oct 2014 | 3 comments

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Should IBDs accept Halfords Cycle2Work vouchers?

Posted on in Cycles News

Halfords reported a 21.3% increase in like for like sales in its first quarter this year, including a 35% increase in premium bike sales. It's unclear how much of this is attributable to their Cycle2Work scheme, but in a debate currently raging on the industry forum, a view was expressed that: Halfords are years ahead in terms of marketing Cycle to Work!

The theme of the industry trade forum debate is whether IBDs should accept Halfords Cycle2Work vouchers, obviously a big and sensitive subject, with the thread rated number 3 for the highest contributions ever on the forum.

It's been a long debated question whether IBD's should accept Halfords vouchers and not miss a (low margin) sale or whether by doing so they are fuelling a perceived position of strength, which will be used by Halfords to win future employer tenders away from the much larger and more extensive IBD network offering.

Halfords promote their "Nationwide Independent Bike Shop Network" providing "Unique access to ALL the UK's top bike brands - GUARANTEED" from a "Choice of over 800 Halfords and Independent Bike Shops". wide range of opinions have been expressed on the industry forum, including those questioning the value of C2W to the IBD sector and suppliers commenting on the low margins that IBDs are happy to work on with Halfords. Outside of the forum we have also witnessed emotional discussion on this subject from suppliers and subscribers, so please take some time to have your say.





Reader Comments (3)

If we all stopped taking the vouchers maybe more employers wouldnt sign up to Halfords and we would be able to sell our high end cycles through the current cycle schemes on offer.

LEE FROST, 30 Oct 2014

I have two thoughts on this one: 1: There is no profit in a lost sale. 2: As Lee said above - if we all stop accepting them and their ridiculous commision charges (20%?) then the scheme will decline in favour of open schemes that dont hurt the IBD. I'd say no, but it would only work with solidarity.. Halfords are just another competitor, albeit the biggest, they dont give a stuff about us and our success - so why should we?

Jon Dean, 30 Oct 2014

I lost 90% of my cycle scheme work to Halfords after they signed up most of the larger companies in the area, such as the Post Office to their own Cycle2work scheme. Now most of the people in the area have no choice and have to make the 50+ mile round trip to Halfords. It is a shame that my regular customers have been forced to buy outside of the community and not support local business? The scheme has lost it's way if the customer has no choice.

Ian Bruton, 31 Oct 2014

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