Halfords opens Marketplace to better test ecommerce trends

Bike retailer Halfords has opened an online marketplace that will stock over 40,000 additional products from third-party brands.

Halfords said the move is designed to help it better anticipate and react to trends and customer’s buying behaviour, as well as test the market for new brands.

It comes as the retailer experiences an online sales lift, with sales across desktop and mobile topping £100m for the first time in the last financial year.

“We know our existing customer is really digitally engaged – Halfords.com had 90million visits last year and 25 per cent of all bike sales were made online,” added Halfords Marketplace trading manager Nina Morris.

It currently has a click and collect service and eBay store, which have helped to drive online sales. However, Morris said the "marketplace is a huge opportunity to innovate in the sector and offer a wider range.”

Halfords has pulled in over 30 approved partners, including Toolsave, Kiddimoto, and e-bikes direct.

The online store is one of the first major projects under the direction of new chief executive Jill McDonald.

McDonald, former UK chief and president of North West Europe at restaurant chain McDonalds, was tapped by Halfords to oversee the final 18 months in its three-year plan to turn itself around by improving customer service and increasing focus on the cycling division.

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