Success Stories

Success Stories: Halfords

It started out as a wholesale ironmongery and it’s now a multi million pound company. Wholesale Scout looks at the rise and success of Halfords.

Halfords was established in 1892 by Frederick Rushbrooke and started out as a wholesale ironmongery, making and selling iron goods. Soon after the company started selling bicycle goods and after years of selling bicycle equipment the company purchased the Birmingham Bicycle Company in 1945. In the following years the company opened a number of stores.

In 1965 the company changed its name to Halfords Limited and a few years later in 1969 Burmah Oil bought Halfords and it began to open specialist motor stores. During the next decade Halfords opened a motor accessories outlet and expanded its brand out of the UK and into Holland.

In 1989 the brand was bought by the Boots Company and in the lead up to the millennium the brand saw some big advancements. The company branched out into other areas and began to sell camping and leisure equipment and in-car technology devices as part of its portfolio and in 2000 the first eCommerce website was launched.

After being bought by CVC Capital Partners in 2002, the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Since then Halfords has become an international brand and now specialises in a variety of goods from car parts and accessories to bikes and sat navs. The stores now also offer services like car equipment installations for its customers.

From its modest wholesale beginnings, Halfords is now one of the biggest retailers in the country and in 2011 the company turned over almost £900 million.

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