Consumer watchdog Which? recently ranked Halfords in last place in a shopper satisfaction survey of the UK’s 100 most popular stores, with staff cited as ‘rude and unhelpful’.
Days after that news broke, the brand also announced its intention to open a further 400 Autocentres in the next five years, as part of an overall Halfords brand development plan.
In the current economic climate, Halfords have an unprecedented opportunity to steal a march on franchised car dealers and independent garages.
With new car sales declining and dealership closures increasing, drivers of older cars that are beyond manufacturer warranty cover will increasingly be looking for more accessible and better value solutions for car servicing.
They will however not be driven by price and location alone. In our socially connected society, customer opinion is potentially the most influential factor driving consideration and transaction.
If Halfords are to climb the rankings, achieve their CEO’s ambitious plans and reclaim their position as a high street-staple and trusted brand, they need to firstly address the fundamental flaws in the retail experience they deliver, so the new customers they attract aren’t deterred by what they encounter in store.