Motoring Discussion > Halfords Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Fullchat Replies: 36

 Halfords - Fullchat
I see Halfords have announced that they intend to close 60 of its stores.

I was in one of my local ones recently and it seemed decidedly light on its vast range of products, less stuff spread round a bit more thinly. I thought it was just the breakdown of supply chains due to Covid but maybe its an indicator of things in the pipeline.
 Halfords - martin aston
Aren’t they kept afloat by the cycling revival?

The few times I have in store in recent years they have been very quiet. I now buy polish, minor parts etc online and wouldn’t bother with the 20 mile round trip to pick up from my “local” branch.

We used to have a very good independent car accessories shop on the High Street but it’s gone, along with many more in recent years. The market just isn’t there.

 Halfords - Bill Payer
Fell out with them when a TomTom we bought failed at just over 12 mths old and they (head office) quoted the Sale Of Goods act at me telling me to prove it had an inherent fault. TomTom (eventually) replaced it directly.
 Halfords - Clk Sec

>> We used to have a very good independent car accessories shop on the High Street but it’s gone, along with many more in recent years. The market just isn’t there.<<

Quite right - we had two. One closed around the early 90s, and the other more recently. Our nearest Halfords is about 6 miles away.
 Halfords - bathtub tom
I gave up on them decades ago when I fitted some pads bought from there (Moprod IIRC). Coming down a Welsh hill, they faded completely and I was considering stuffing it into the side to stop it. Handbrake and ramming it into 2nd at around 60MPH cooled them enough. Halfords refused to accept any responsibility. A set of decent Girling (or something similar) gave me no problem.
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
I buy screenwash concentrate, car shampoo and AdBlue for the cars, and GT85 for the bikes there. That's about it. I like Halfords though. They have stuff to look at while my wife is in girly shops.
 Halfords - Clk Sec
>> I buy screenwash concentrate, car shampoo and AdBlue for the cars, and GT85 for the bikes there. That's about it. I like Halfords though. <<

I've never had any problems with them. My previous battery charger was bought from them several decades ago, as we're three more recent replacement batteries for my current limousine - including one that was exchanged quibble free a week or two before the end of its three year guarantee.

I wasn't very impressed with their last set of wipers though, as they seemed much noisier than the ones bought previously.

I hope our nearest branch doesn't close.
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
Yes, that's a point, wiper blades and batteries. Usually get those at Halfords. Bits for the bikes too come to think. Maybe I use them more than I thought.
 Halfords - Bobby
From what I have heard they have no bicycles left in stock to sell.
 Halfords - bathtub tom
I understand no-one's got any bikes for sale. Think of all those brand new ones that'll be used a couple of times until it gets wet and cold and then end up like my neighbour's, suspended from the roof, inside the shed.
 Halfords - Robin O'Reliant
Bicycles are very much in short supply now. I think I may have mentioned it here recently, but my bike went a day after Mrs O'Reliant mentioned to a couple of friends that I was selling it and my turbo trainer went on ebay for a quid more than I paid for it six years ago.

There is some real old tat going on ebay and Facebook for stupid prices. The price of second hand motorcycles has also gone north.
 Halfords - God
>>
There is some real old tat going on ebay and Facebook for stupid prices

And, talking of stupid prices, neighb (farmer) is flogging pups that would have gorn for £900 pre-Covid, for £2000+ now!
 Halfords - DP
I'm a big fan of their Professional (now Advanced) range of hand tools. I've got a set of their sockets, a couple of ratchet handles, a couple of breaker bars and an impact driver set, some of which are getting on for 20 years old and despite a lot of abuse over the years, they have never broken, and still work brilliantly. You get a no quibble lifetime warranty as well - if something breaks, you just take it back and they replace it. I've never had to do this, but I know people who have, and it really is as simple as that. And they are well priced. More expensive than the cheap Chinese rubbish you can buy on eBay and Amazon, but much more affordable than many of the big names.

The tool chests are nice as well. The roller bearing drawers on mine are still smooth after 10 years, and they are very solidly made.

As was mentioned above, I like going in our local Halfords shop while my wife is looking around the various hellish womens clothing shops nearby.
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
...oh and GB stickers.
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
...and footpumps.
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
...and, I like the bulb changing service. Saves me skinning my knuckles.

All in all, I'd miss them.
 Halfords - Zero
Oh yes, it's a Merc, not only is it two short, with fake exhaust pipes, it has bulbs. Do they flower in spring?
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
I was referring to the Qashqai and the Aygo, my car has LED lighting. And of course, as you, may I say, rather clumsily identify, a fuel efficient, climate friendly, 21st century compatible engine with more than adequate power. Dog guard as standard too. Bit of a gentleman's car, all in all...
;-)
 Halfords - sherlock47
>>>And, talking of stupid prices, neighb (farmer) is flogging pups that would have gorn for £900 pre-Covid, for £2000+ now!<<<


The Chinese talking up the price for inclusion in speciality dishes?

Mr Liu warned chillingly yesterday: “We want to be your friend, we want to be your partner, but if you want to make China a hostile country you have to bear the consequences.”
 Halfords - God
'Wet Markets' in India too:

www.express.co.uk/news/world/1310525/india-news-New-Delhi-wet-markets-animal-rights-news-peta

:(

 Halfords - legacylad
I look at girls whilst the gf is in girly shops. It’s quite simple really. Until she catches me looking.

I just know you’ll retort with smart ass ‘girly’ reply....
 Halfords - James T
Not really surprised. Our local one has three staff, and I've never seen more than about 3 customers at a time.

I have a trade card, and it can be useful if I need something at the weekend. And I rather like the 'advanced' range of tools.
 Halfords - No FM2R
When I was younger, lots younger, Halfords was frequently a life-saver.

But these days I don't find it much use for anything other than consumable stuff. Pity, really. I used to enjoy browsing there in that period which was an overlap between me having spare money and Halfords still being useful.
 Halfords - Terry
Every time I go into my local Halfords - not very often - staff normally outnumber customers. This can't be a good business model!

Sadly, from a motoring viewpoint, they have probably largely outlived their usefulness, In the good old days it was common for people to service and repair their own cars. They needed tools, lubricants, spares, axle stands etc etc.

With increaingly lengthy service intervals, and the challenge of working with complex digital systems, most neither have the ability nor interest to get involved.

Many other items they sell can be bought online cheaper - cycles, camping gear, etc.

They probably need a radical change of direction to survive in the medium term.
 Halfords - DP
>> Sadly, from a motoring viewpoint, they have probably largely outlived their usefulness, In the good
>> old days it was common for people to service and repair their own cars. They
>> needed tools, lubricants, spares, axle stands etc etc.
>>
>> With increaingly lengthy service intervals, and the challenge of working with complex digital systems, most
>> neither have the ability nor interest to get involved.
>>
>> Many other items they sell can be bought online cheaper - cycles, camping gear, etc.

I think there's a lot of truth in this, and as the number of "user serviceable" cars dwindles, so will their business.

In terms of spares, I suspect they've also been hit by the Euro Car Parts/Carparts4u and GSFs of this world, who carry a much wider range of stock, and at lower prices.

If I think of our local Halfords store, big sections of floorspace are dedicated to activities or products that are either dying out, or done bigger, better and more prominently by the competition. There is a huge ICE section with a wall full of head unit options, but when you think about it, most cars designed in the last 10 years don't actually have separate head units, and have the stereo integral with the dash. That market will surely disappear, or at the very least become more specialised.

Big section of tools, oils, fluids and spares. People will always need oil, but DIY maintenance is dying for the reasons listed above, so that has to be shrinking overall. The tools are excellent, but professional mechanics don't buy them, and fewer people are DIY-ing.

There are also smaller areas for child seats and towing accessories, and roofboxes, but again, I would imagine many people would go to a specialist for such things, who will stock a wider range of options, and perhaps be better able to advise.

The only bit that I suspect does well is the cleaning and valeting area. Big range of stuff, and well priced.

Halfords sadly strikes me as another Blockbuster Video. Nothing inherently wrong with the way it does what it does, but what it does is becoming increasingly irrelevant due to changes in customer habits. Blockbuster doggedly stuck to their physical media rental model while internet streaming became an exciting concept, and then a reality, and so Halfords seem to be doing something similar with their offering. It's a shame.
 Halfords - PeterS
I’m sure your right DP. The one near me is in the same retail park as M&S and JL at Home, which presumably is not the cheapest rental park space Aron d. Though, the service bays always seem pretty busy at Halfords...I wonder how much of their business it actually makes up? For a non car person, there is presumably some attraction to a recognised name when’s looking for someone to service your car? Even though many of us would probably steer well clear!
 Halfords - Runfer D'Hills
Also a bit of a victim of brand/badge snobbery with their bikes. Once upon a time, apart from the real enthusiasts, to most people, a bike was just a bike, and Halfords provided a good selection at prices that were sensible, and accessible. Ironically, their Carrera, Voodoo and Boardman bikes in particular, are for the most part pretty good, and represent decent value for money, but there is definitely a brand/label resistance to them now which is as illogical as that which applies in the car industry to Ford and Vauxhall products for example.
Last edited by: Runfer D'Hills on Fri 17 Jul 20 at 13:17
 Halfords - zippy
I hope they keep going.

They are very good with lights. I was in Newcastle when the main beam on my Tucson died and wanted it done before setting off home. I was also suited and booted so didn't want to do it myself.

The local dealer wanted £80 odd.

Halfords did it for £12, £6 for the bulb and £6 to fit it.

Mum's Toyota key blip thingumabob needed a new battery during lock down.

She queued up outside Halfords. Being well over 70 a young member of staff invited her in first.

They didn't have the battery in stock but they called the local Timpsons and checked if they had it in stock so she wouldn't have a wasted journey if they didn't.

That's good service!
 Halfords - Bromptonaut
I used to get frustrated with them years ago when they were still a high street operation. I lost count of the times I visited their store in Watford to find I could only get 50% of the stuff I needed. Used to jokingly refer to them as Half ords.

Northampton was an early example of the out of town warehouse and has always been well stocked. They're good at finding stuff for you and always offer to fit bulbs, wipers etc. I'm OK doing that myself as both cars are straightforward in that respect but wouldn't hesitate if it needed double jointed knuckles.
 Halfords - R.P.
I've bought some bits from them over the years, especially tools - they are pretty good. I have one of their tool chests which is very good. Nearest branch is so many miles away since we moved away I wouldn't bother any more. There's a very good indie car bits shop in the next town. He managed to upsell me washer fluid a couple of years ago ( 25 litre container !) which still has a few months left in it, it was an impressive bit os salesmanship. One of the unexpected consequences was learning (all over again) to syphon !
 Halfords - Mr Moo
Handy for one litre oil top up bottles for the company car, as it’s directly on the route home.

Some of their stock does seem very pricey though - Hal frauds
Last edited by: Mr Moo on Sat 18 Jul 20 at 00:03
 Halfords - The Melting Snowman
I use them occasionally, I can think of two purchases in the last year: a very useful bicycle stand (makes adjusting the gears etc. so much easier) and a trickle-charger for my motorbike for winter storage. Sometimes It's just less stressful walking into a shop and picking it up there and then.
I agree the tools are excellent quality, I have quite a few.
It would be a shame if they disappear but I fear another potential casualty of the internet and also youngsters these days are more likely to be discussing among themselves the latest smartphone to buy rather than how to change a clutch on a car.
 Halfords - Fullchat
Just done that on daughters Picanto. Think I'm getting a bit old for crawling round on the floor and heaving gearboxes in and out. Not easy on your back.
Another one to do but should be quicker now I've done one.
Which brings me back to Halfords. Needed a couple of bottles of gearbox oil and they were just handy.
Little bit miffed with the staff. The cashier behind the covid screens got herself tied up with an elderly couple for a long time. Instead of another member of staff taking over the till and moving the couple aside a staff member came down the line remotely dealing with purchases except he was straight into personal space. I had to tell him but shouldn't have had to.
 Halfords - Zero
Popped into Halfords today for a caravan breakaway cable. Yes I committed the rookie mistake, left it attached.
 Halfords - bathtub tom
You only do it once! Took two of us to release the handbrake when I did.
 Halfords - Bobby
How’s the caravan doing?
 Halfords - Bromptonaut
>> Popped into Halfords today for a caravan breakaway cable. Yes I committed the rookie mistake,
>> left it attached.

Yet to do that but I've come perilously close to directing Mrs B to move the car off before disconnecting the electrics.
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