Firstly, we plan to significantly grow our Autocentre business. We know that our Autocentre garages are often not conveniently located. In many parts of the country, the time taken for a customer to drive to their nearest Halfords Autocentre is well over 30 minutes. Our insight shows that customers require a drive time of less than 20 minutes if they are to utilise Autocentre services. To reduce this drive time, we need more garages in more convenient locations for our customers. Via the acquisition of McConechy's Tyre Service, we have already made good progress with this part of our plan, increasing the size of our site footprint by about 20%. Looking into the future we believe there is the potential for 550 Autocentres across the UK and Ireland, which will bring our drive time in line with customers' expectations.
Our Mobile Expert vans have proven that there is sufficient customer demand for mobile services delivered at a location convenient to them. Encouraged by the results of our trial, we plan to grow to 200 vans over the next 3–5 years, giving us national coverage and providing most UK consumers with access to Halfords Mobile Expert services. Our acquisition of Tyres on the Drive, a mobile tyre-fitting business, has significantly accelerated the roll-out of our Mobile Expert proposition giving us access to both a large number of vans and best-in-class software to drive growth of our mobile services business.
In addition to this, we will increase investment in the provision of WeFit and WeCheck services in our Retail stores, for example the fitting of wiper blades and headlight bulbs. This will be enabled by a best-in-class customer contact strategy and the redeployment of labour in store to provide more WeFit trained colleagues to better service customer needs.
Whilst the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the retail industry, it does not affect our long-term strategic direction. This firmly remains the right direction for our business and recent events have highlighted the importance of the acceleration of our plan, as laid out above.
In September 2018, we set out our strategic mission 'To Inspire and Support a Lifetime of motoring and cycling' and this mission remains unchanged. We have made good progress against our strategic pillars, as outlined through this section, however, given the unique and growing parts of our business, coupled with the opportunities and strengthening tailwinds in the market, we now see a clear rationale to further accelerate our service-led Strategy.
The opportunity in services, specifically motoring, coupled with our growing scale and capability in this space, supports our plan to accelerate investment in this area. We will evolve into a consumer and B2B services-focused business, with a greater emphasis on motoring, generating higher and more sustainable financial returns.
We are clear that our service-led Strategy is the right one for Halfords. Our unique position, growing services business and the positive macro-customer trends, give us confidence that this is the right time to accelerate investment, leveraging our trusted household brand to become a clear market leader in motoring services.
Chief Executive Officer
Inspire our customers through a differentiated, super-specialist shopping experience
- General-specialist to super-specialist
- Lead and differentiate our markets with customer-led innovation
- Redefine and further differentiate our own label ranges
- New customer experience in stores and garages, linking online and offline journeys
Support our customers through an integrated, unique and more convenient services offer
- Offer convenience through an integrated and expanded 'on-demand' service proposition across stores, garages and mobile
- Enhance the digital customer journey from booking through to service delivery
- Enhance our unique position in E-bike servicing in Retail stores and hybrid and electric vehicle servicing in our garages with the most fully trained technicians outside the dealer network
- Increase awareness of Halfords services by leveraging the Halfords brand
Enable a Lifetime of motoring and cycling
- A more focused and targeted approach to loyalty at a Group level in order to optimise lifetime value of our customers
- Accelerating the development of our Customer Relationship Management ("CRM") programme, offering compelling reasons for our customers to return
- Fully leveraging our Group Single Customer View and increasing the investment in customer data management