Halfords Summer Brand Campaign ‘The best trips last a lifetime’

This week sees the launch of the new Halfords summer campaign by DLKW Lowe.

The campaign centres around a 60” TVC execution, written by DLKW Lowe’s Executive Creative Directors Richard Denney and David Henderson and directed by Academy’s Frederic Planchon. The story follows 4 children on a summer family trip. A boy and girl from the 1970s playing alongside a present day brother and sister.

Set to the 70s anthem ‘Into the Valley’ by The Skids, the ad brings to life nostalgic moments from trips and holidays that people look back on with fond memories. Summed up in the endline ‘ The best trips last a lifetime’, the ad reminds parents that Halfords is the launch pad to family adventures this summer. Bikes, tents, roof boxes and cycle carriers are at the heart of Halfords’ business and heritage, and have been used by families going away on trips for years.

With the current economic backdrop, a trend for family ‘staycations’ this summer, and a desire to go ‘back to basics’ with simple pleasures of earlier decades, Halfords want to evoke memories of trips parents made when they were kids back in the 70s, when life was free, easy and fun. The ad shows how easy it is to recreate the same memories for their own children, instead of spending most of their childhoods indoors on computers and video games.

The 60” spot is supported by two 30” TVCs, one focussing on cycling and the other on camping. A longer 80” version of the film will also run online on Halfords Youtube channel, Facebook and VOD spots. The campaign will also be supported by retail TV and press.

David Wild, Chief Executive for Halfords commented ‘The ad is designed to evoke our customers happiest childhood memories and portray Halfords as the gateway to enjoying the great outdoors with their family and friends. Our products and services are designed to ensure our customers have everything they need for their great getaways. So we want to remind people of the part Halfords has played in their holidays and how we can help again this summer.”

The TV commercial launches on Wednesday 16th May 2012

For more information please contact Ian Barlow (New Business Director on 020 7584 5033).

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It’s Carry on Camping for Cash-strapped Brits

Canvas is increasingly the holiday shelter of choice for many Britons with tent sales and site bookings up before the season has even begun.

Bookings for the Easter bank holiday, next weekend, are 28% up on 2010 and 5% up on last year, reports the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Cycling and leisure retailer Halfords have seen sales of camping equipment soar by almost 50% in the run up to Easter, as the surge in popularity of outdoor holidays in the UK over the last three years shows no sign of slowing.

Halfords Camping Expert Paul Fensome said: “It’s clear camping is becoming more popular and the activity is now a regular part of many people’s holiday plans.

“Some customers are discovering the delights of camping for the first time while many more regular campers upgrade their equipment each year as improved products become available and campers are becoming more attached to their gadgets.

“Camping is for everyone, from those who want basic equipment to those who want modern tents which provide many of the comforts of home.”

Industry experts say the staycation trend and the popularity of nights under canvas have been boosted, not only by continuing economic uncertainty in Europe and austerity measures at home, but also by key events including the Queens Diamond Jubilee, the 2012 Cultural Festival which runs from 21 June 2012 – Midsummer’s Day – until 9 September 2012 – the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and of course the Olympic Games itself.

Travel websites are already advising tourists coming for the Games that they may have already left it too late to book hotels and should check out temporary campsites set up close to the Olympic Park. Windsor Great Park will also provide 1000 pitches for those attending events at Eton Dorney.

Some sites will offer basic camping pitches for as little as £10, rising to £200 per couple for luxury glamping accommodation.

Camping and Caravanning Club Director General, Robert Louden, said: “With so much going on in 2012, this is the perfect time to make the most of the UK and take a holiday – our booking numbers are extremely positive at this stage.”

The latest Tourism Survey reveals that from January to the end of November 2011 there were 16.8 million camping and caravanning trips in Britain contributing around £2.6 billion to the economy. Not only was the total number of trips up almost 5% on the previous year, but the amount spent on those holidays leapt by nearly 13% year on year.

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Hit TV Show ‘Call The Midwife’ Has Delivered A Bouncing Success For Victoria Pendleton

The Olympic gold medal winning cyclist’s “new baby”, her personally designed bike range, has sparked unprecedented demand at suppliers Halfords – and it is all being put down to the midwife-effect!

The fact that the traditionally designed cycles bear an uncanny resemblance to those featured on the TV show, with star Miranda Hart recently photographed riding a similar retro-style bike across London, is believed to have helped create a buzz around the classy new model.

Following a record number of pre-orders on the internet Halfords has rushed the range of three classic women’s bikes into store, almost a month earlier than planned. These are the traditional Somerby, the hybrid Brooke and the more sophisticated Dalby.

The powder blue, white and plum coloured cycles with sprung saddles could not be further from the hard-bodied pared-down bike that helped Victoria win gold in Beijing, but their nostalgic appeal seems to have released a desire by women to return to cycling spurred on by the pedalling midwives of the 1950s show.

Miss Hart, who often takes her pet shih tzu Peggy with her on bike rides, is in good company with Ewan McGregor, Kelly Brook, Elle McPherson, Helena Christenson, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, all confirmed A-list cycling fans.

A delighted Victoria, 31, said: “I wanted to help create a bike that you could just jump on to go down to the shops or the park without having to change into cycling kit. I do recognise that most women don’t want to squeeze into lycra before they get on a bike and I am pleased to say you can definitely wear a dress to ride these cycles.”

The Olympic champion’s timing has been as impeccable as ever with the release of range of three bikes, tapping into the growing craze for two wheels, not four.

Clare Standage, Halford Product Expert, said: “We are not surprised by the demand for the Victoria Pendleton range. There is certain elegance about the traditional lines of a classic bike and it seems that the trend-setters are moving away from the macho, sporty look and going for a more relaxed everyday style which is perfectly epitomised by these bikes. It is an added bonus that all three models are so competitively priced at £279.99 to £349.99.”

The launch of the Victoria Pendleton cycle range follows an upsurge in sales of Halfords classic bikes last year.

National cycle network Sustrans has launched a campaign to encourage more women to get back on two wheels after research showed that 79 per cent of women don’t cycle.

International designers such as Paul Smith and Giles Deacon have also tapped into the retro-mood by creating new lines of cycle chic clothing based on the timeless designs of a gentler, more stylish era.

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Britons prepare to see out the Big Chill

Britons have reacted to the big freeze which finally hit the UK, sending temperatures plummeting and covering large parts of the country in snow.

Car accessory retailer Halfords reports drivers stocking up on break down kits, de-icers, anti-freeze, scrapers and snow shovels.

Householders are also determined not to get caught out with a rush on bags of salt to ensure paths and driveways remain clear.

Weather forecasters have warned that the Arctic blast could last for the rest of the month, with sub-zero temperatures predicted for large swathes of the country.

The Met Office and the Highways Agency both issued Amber Alerts, the second highest rating for cold weather. They also warned of transport disruption as cold temperatures refreeze thawing snow, leading to black ice that makes roads extremely hazardous.

Halfords said sales of snow shovels were at their highest ever, while demand for de-icer sales was quadruple this time last year, de-icing salt was up 155 per cent, anti-freeze up 94 per cent, and purchases of ice scrapers increased by 75 per cent. Screenwash, a staple need for motorists in winter conditions, is also selling strongly.

Halfords winter products expert Mark Dolphin said: “Snow and Freezing weather is always very disruptive for motorists. There’s always a huge demand for all the products that help people stay on the road. It’s not just the de-icing products that are needed, a lot more batteries and wiper blades fail so our store colleagues are very busy replacing these for customers.”

A survey carried out by Halfords at the start of winter found more than four in ten (42 per cent) claimed to be better organised than last year, when the country was hit by the lowest temperatures for 15 years. Thousands of car owners have splashed out on winter tyres and taken advantage of garages offering “winter checks”.

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Brits brace for snow in spades

Halfords are rushing snow shovels into stores in a major operation to keep motorists on the move.

As wintry weather makes its way across the UK, Brits fearful of being caught out by snow have been racing to buy snow shovels.

Halfords, which this year has ranged the foldable snow shovels for the first time, have been forced to order five times more shovels than originally forecast due to popular demand.

The high street motor parts and accessories retailer also reported snow chains flying off the shelves and saw sales of snow socks and traction tracks, also new this year and designed to help tyres grip in frozen conditions, soar.

Customers were also stocking up on salt, deicer and antifreeze.

Mark Dolphin, Halfords Winter Motoring Expert said: “There’s always a rush for winter products when the cold weather comes. Unfortunately many leave it too late. Good preparation can help avoid breakdowns, accidents and save money.

“Attitudes towards safe winter motoring are changing. We even sold a surprising number of ice scrapers and antifreeze during the October heatwave as people began to prepare for winter in advance.”

A recent survey by Halfords revealed that 42 per cent of motorists thought they were better prepared for winter this year.

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Halfords to the Rescue on Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land, thousands of unprepared shoppers scrambled around.

If this sounds familiar, worry not. Halfords has hundreds of gift ideas not only in store but online too. What’s more, customers on Christmas Eve can reserve their gifts online and can collect in store an hour after reservation. *

With over 80 per cent of stores based on retail parks outside the city centre, crowded parking lots, long lines at checkouts and frantic shoppers is something that can be avoided.

For standard home delivery, last chance to order online is midnight on Monday 19thDecember 2011.

For next day delivery, all orders must be placed by 1pm on Wednesday 21st December 2011**

Plus don’t forget, if the weather takes a turn for the worst or you are travelling long distances over Christmas, Halfords is also open for business to help you motor on through the winter. From deicer, to screenwash, snow shovels, car batteries, and much more, don’t get left out in the cold. Visit one of Halfords 467 stores.

For store opening hours, please click onto www.halfords.com or contact your nearest store. ***

Notes to Editors:

*Bike builds are not included
**Unpredictable weather e.g. snow could affect delivery times
***Date Status Hours
Saturday 17th December Late Night 9.00am – 7.00pm
Sunday 18th December 10.00am – 5.00pm
Monday 19th December 9.00am – 8.00pm
Tuesday 20th December 9.00am – 8.00pm
Wednesday 21stDecember 9.00am – 8.00pm
Thursday 22ndDecember 9.00am – 8.00pm
Friday 23rdDecember 9.00am – 8.00pm
Saturday 24th December Christmas Eve 9.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 25th December Christmas Day Closed
Monday 26th December Boxing Day 9.00am – 6.00pm
Tuesday 27th December 9.00am – 6.00pm
Wednesday 28th December 9.00am – 8.00pm
Thursday 29th December 9.00am – 8.00pm
Friday 30th December 9.00am – 8.00pm
Saturday 31st December 2012 New Year’s Eve 9.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 1st January 2012 New Year’s Day 10.00am – 5.00pm (Closure in Scotland)
Monday 2nd January 2012 9.00am – 6.00pm
Tuesday 3rd January 2012 Normal business hours resumeStore opening and closing times are subject to change. Always check with your local store first.

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Penny-Wise Motorists Spend Spare Car Cash

Cash-strapped British motorists are plundering loose change from their cars to the tune of an estimated £27million, as fears over the economy take hold.

A new report by Halfords shows there has been a 16 per cent drop in the amount of petty cash kept in the country’s 34 million registered vehicles over the past 12 months.

Motorists feeling the pinch are raiding the stash of coins left in the ashtray and door side pockets, which they used to save to pay for parking and the occasional snack or drink.

The study, which Halfords has dubbed the “loose change economic index”, has revealed that today motorists knowingly keep on average £4.60 in their car, a significant drop from a year ago when £5.40 was the average amount stored in vehicles.

Across the UK, that translates from an estimated £183 million kept in cars 12 months ago, down to £156.4 million worth of small change in vehicles today.

The survey of over 2000 drivers asked them to keep a record of spare cash left in vehicles over a 12-month period. Over three quarters of those polled said they deliberately left spare change in the car or van to pay for parking in towns or at railway stations.

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) said they used the cash to buy the occasional drink or snack when filling up with petrol or at a motorway service station, although half of motorists said they were buying fewer treats than a year ago.

One in 12 (8 per cent) said they kept a £10 note hidden in the car in case they ran out of petrol, down from 10 per cent who kept the same emergency cash a year earlier and 82 per cent said they now regularly check their car for dropped and lost coins.

The downturn of 16 per cent in the amount of money left in cars over the past 12 months reflects a decline in disposable income and is three times the annual inflation rate, which latest figures showed running at 5.2 per cent. During that time petrol has gone up from an average 117.7p a litre to 134.5p a litre.

Halfords Motoring Expert, Mark Dolphin, said: “We know that times are tough for motorists and we’re trying to help ease the burden by offering affordable, value for money products and services. This includes our popular We Fit service, which fits bulbs, wiper blades and car batteries whilst you wait, and our garage network, Halfords Autocentres, which carries out dealership-quality work at value prices.

“Keeping your car well-maintained is the best way to ensure cost effective motoring.”

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Millions of Motorists Face Costly Winter Reality Check

Almost ten million motorists are risking breakdowns in freezing conditions by failing to prepare for the hazards of winter driving.

With gales, frost and even snow predicted to hit Britain by the end of this month, a worrying 32% of car owners have neglected to make the simplest check on the level of anti-freeze in the engine or top up the windscreen wash, according to a new survey for Halfords*.

Over 60% fail to inspect tyres, one in 12 (8%) don’t examine their windscreen wipers or their vehicle lights and 18% don’t know what condition their battery is in.

While the figures are stark, the position is actually an improvement on last year. Following three harsh winters, more drivers are making preparations for a cold snap. Four in ten (42%) claim they are better organised than last year, when the lowest temperatures for 15 years caused massive travel disruption.

Some 5% of car owners say they have already bought winter tyres while thousands have taken advantage of garages offering “winter checks”.

Car, leisure and cycling retailer Halfords said it had ordered in extra supplies of winter motoring products including snow chains, snow socks, snow shovels, de-icer, ice scrapers and screen-wash effective in temperatures down to minus 20C.

Mark Dolphin, Halfords Winter Motoring Expert said: “There’s always a rush for winter products when the cold weather comes. Unfortunately many leave it too late. Good preparation can help avoid breakdowns, accidents and save money.

“Attitudes towards safe winter motoring are changing. We even sold a surprising number of ice scrapers and anti-freeze during the October heatwave as people began to prepare for winter in advance.”

Halfords offers a free Five Point Car Health Check where a trained fitter will check your lights, blades, screenwash, oil and battery condition. Halfords Autocentres offers a more comprehensive 12-point Winter Inspection, which addresses the parts most at risk including tyres, alternator, starter motor and antifreeze.

In a report into the chaos caused by last winter’s big freeze the House of Commons Transport Committee put the cost of the transport disruption which left millions stranded at £280m a day, while the cost to the country’s economy was put at £6 billion. Millions of workers also found themselves losing pay as a result of not being able to get to work.

The Highways Agency has already launched a campaign to encourage drivers to prepare for winter weather.

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BBC Banned TomTom Exclusive Stocks Available At Halfords, While Stocks Last

A Halfords spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the decision by the BBC on behalf of our customers who told us they loved the product. It was proving hugely popular.

“While we have plenty of stock at the moment we will not be able to replace them when they are gone, so the strident tones of Mr Clarkson will be appearing in Halfords for a limited time only and after that he will be silenced, at least on a sat nav.”

Featuring TomTom’s congestion-busting HD Traffic technology, the new satnav will steer drivers through traffic jams and is packed with Top Gear features including start-up and shut-down screens and car icons. Drivers can choose to have The Stig mode, which renders the device instantly silent, or select Jeremy Clarkson’s voice to guide them.

At £179, the TomTom GO LIVE Top Gear edition includes one year of TomTom’s LIVE Services for free. The flagship service is TomTom HD Traffic, which delivers dynamic routing and accurate traffic information every two minutes. HD Traffic gives drivers detailed incident reports, length of delays and reason for them, accurate travel and arrival times and alternative route proposals.

The LIVE Services bundle also includes the Speed Cameras service, providing mobile and fixed speed camera alerts, while TomTom Places local search helps to pinpoint shops and businesses in the area. QuickGPSfix gets you navigating in seconds and TomTom Weather gives local and five-day forecasts.

Available exclusively at Halfords in the UK, more information on the TomTom GO LIVE Top Gear edition at www.halfords.com.

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White Out Warnings See Early Deliveries Of Sledges

It’s been the coldest summer for 18 years and already shops are getting ready for this winter’s big freeze, with Halfords taking early delivery of enough sledges to stretch end to end to the top of Mount Everest.*

The retailer is preparing for the worst with everything from snow chains, shovels and metal spiked-shoe covers heading for the high street.

But the 10,000 sleds that have just been shipped in are a reminder that the latest predictions of heavy snowfalls this winter are not bad news for everyone.

Louise Robinson, product manager at Halfords, said: “We want to ensure that our shelves are full of everything our customers will need and everything they might want, to both stay safe if they are on the roads and to enjoy any snowfalls in their free time.”

The car accessories and leisure retailer has ordered ‘significantly more’ tow ropes, snow shovels, and tyre snow socks for driving in severe weather and other winter product lines, as well as stocking fun items like the Sno Slinger, which designed to throw a snow ball much further; and a snow brick maker to help with construction of the kids’ igloo you always wanted to build.

Britain forecasters are predicting that violent storms will hit Britain with severe frosts as early as November – and, while white-outs bring fun for many, they cause misery for others. Last year much of the country came to a standstill with roads and railways paralysed amid record low temperatures and arctic conditions.

Halfords is urging motorists to prepare in advance and ensure they stock up on antifreeze, de-icers, screen wash, scrapers, salt for the drive and winter survival kits designed to keep motorists moving when the weather hits.

For severe conditions, items such as snow chains are invaluable.

The company is also offering free ‘five point checks’ to ensure cars are ready for winter, as part of its We Fit service; and garage chain Halfords Autocentres is advising drivers to fit winter tyres, which perform better on icy and snow bound roads.

Halfords winter driving expert Mark Dolphin added: “We are ready to meet all conditions and we want to make sure all our customers are too.”

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Designs on Performance for Boardman Belles

The 2012 Boardman Fi (Female informed) Performance Series Bikes range is now available exclusively at Halfords.com.

The range of four Boardman Fi bikes includes a Road Carbon bike at £1299.99, a Road bike at £799.99, a Mountain bike at £649.99 and a Hybrid bike at £599.99.

The Road Comp, MTB Comp and Hybrid Comp Fi models each feature a lightweight frame finished with the Boardman trademark smooth welds, anatomically shaped handlebars, brake levers and saddle carefully selected for female riders. All are finished with a superior quality paint finish in white with accents of pink. The range topping Road Team Carbon Fi is finished in silver with pink graphic highlights.

As pictured, the Boardman Fi Team Carbon features an ultra-lightweight T700 Carbon Fibre BB30 frame with tapered headtube and internal cable routing. With women’s specific geometry for comfort and handling allows easier and faster cycling. An ultra-lightweight carbon fibre fork with carbon steerer ensures precise and accurate steering whilst helping to absorb road vibrations. Also included in the new design are Shimano 105 braking and gearing for optimum shifting performance, a FSA Gossamer Pro 50/34 compact chain set with BB30 bottom bracket and lightweight Mavic Aksium wheelset.

Director of Boardman Bikes Research & Development, Chris Boardman MBE said: “The all-new 2012 Fi range builds upon the successful and ever-popular initial offering and includes input from our world-class female athletes, combined with my own cycling heritage to deliver a series of bikes specifically designed for women who enjoy cycling at every level.

From commuting, competing, off-road through to family touring – all our bikes benefit from world-class frame design, superior materials and hand-picked componentry – specifically designed to enhance your ride experience and maximise all round performance.”

Halfords is expecting demand to be high for these bikes and recommends that customers reserve their bike in-store now. For details of your nearest Boardman Fi ranged store visit halfords.com/boardmanbikes.

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Children’s Sleep Over Craze Under Canvas

The ever-changing world of children’s birthday parties has a new craze – camping sleepovers.

Cash-strapped parents, fed up with spending hundreds of pounds hiring professional entertainers and caterers, are opting for a night under canvas and the excitement of the great outdoors to get their children in the party mood.

The new “camp-over” trend has boosted sales of pop-up tents at Halfords, with parents snapping up the new Gelert Liberty Rock, which is covered in a trendy pink and lilac floral pattern for girls’ do’s and Halfords’ two-man camouflage print for boys’ camping sleepovers.

Other accessories that have seen a surprise jump in sales due to the garden camp-outs have been fold up chairs and stools that come in pink and blue from £4.99 each.

Halfords Camping Expert Paul Fensome said: “We are delighted that our new eye-catching pop-up tent designs have proved to be so appealing to children and their parents.

“Of course, the added bonus is that the products are so competitively priced that they won’t break the bank and you can bring them out year after year for more sleepovers.”

Wiltshire mother of two Caroline Walker, 40, said: “My 13-year-old son had the time of his life at a friend’s birthday camp-over recently. They pitched their pop up tents in the garden in seconds and sat around with their torches telling ghost stories all night.

“They loved the food, hot dogs and burgers cooked on a BBQ outside and it was great to see them away from their computer games for once. It was more of an awake-over than a sleep over, but they all enjoyed it.”

A recent survey by children’s charity Lumos, set up by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, revealed that four out of ten parents spend up to £500 on kids birthday parties, with 67% admitting they found them stressful to organise and a third confessing they had to stretch their finances to pay for it.

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Halfords Figures Reveal The True Cost Of Bike Theft In The UK

Bike thefts could be costing British cyclists more than £80 million a year, new figures from Halfords reveal.*

According to police crime statistics, a total of 115,147 bikes were reported stolen in the UK last year. But the actual figure is much higher, according to the British Crime Survey, due to a high proportion of thefts that are unreported.

It estimates the true number is nearer 533,000, the equivalent of a bike going missing every minute, and means almost 80% of owners are failing to report thefts. National figures** show reported bike crime is up 4% and unreported up 12%.

The full extent of the problem has been revealed by cycle and leisure retailer Halfords, who obtained the latest theft figures from each UK police force and collated them to reveal a disturbing nationwide picture.

The growth in bike thefts has come as the country experiences a resurgence in bicycle use, with 12% of adults regular cycle users and bike sales exceeding £2.1 billion last year. Six per cent of bikes purchased are worth over £1000.

In terms of regional variations, not surprisingly the problem of stolen bikes is worst in London with 21,315 instances reported to the Met in 2010 with Westminster having the highest rate of theft (1,898).

Thames Valley had the second highest rate with 6,060 instances reported in 2010. This was followed by Greater Manchester (5,185) and Cambridgeshire (4,477). Thames Valley and Cambridgeshire contain university cities of Oxford and Cambridge which account for much of the crime in those areas.

Fife has the best record for bike theft, the east coast area in Scotland only reporting 78 thefts in the past year, despite it including the student town of St Andrews where there is high bike ownership. There were 24 times more thefts in Westminster than in the whole of Fife.

The worst area in Scotland was Strathclyde, which includes Glasgow. It recorded 2081 thefts, followed closely by Lothian and Border with 2026.

Over two thirds of bike theft occurs in or around a victim’s home and research shows that while most cyclists lock their bikes when leaving them on the street, they are often unlocked when stored at a residence.*** The high number of unreported theft is put down to the belief that police will not catch the offender and that many bikes on the road are second hand.

Halfords cycling expert Paul Tomlinson said: “The scale of the bike theft is quite staggering and it can be devastating when you have bought your dream bike only to have it stolen.

“It demonstrates the need for cyclists to take precautions. We recommend bolt-cutter proof locks, because heavy-duty locks are a much better deterrent, and bike marking for all cycles.

“All Halfords locks are independently tested and rated Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the length of time it would take a thief to break the lock and what level of equipment they would need.

“Our in-store experts are on hand to advise you on the best way to keep your cycle safe, such as purchasing the most appropriate heavy duty lock for your bike and investing in a bike tagging kit, so that it can be identified if it is ever stolen and recovered by police.”

After revealing the price of cycle theft, Halfords is calling for a unified approach to tackling the crime.

Paul Tomlinson added: “It is clear that this is a nationwide problem and many initiatives are left to local forces. We urge customers to keep their bikes secure but we would like to see more co-ordination in tackling thefts once they have occurred.”

The Police say one of the biggest problems is not recovering bikes, but finding out who owns them and they urge cyclists to take three simple steps to help reduce crime.

1) Record the details of the bike by getting it marked.
2) Register on one of the number of websites where details can be left3) Report if your bike is stolen.

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A New Breed of Wheely Cool Sees a Rise in BMX

Following in the tracks of ‘middle aged men in Lycra’ (Mamil), trick obsessed BMXers are set to become the next driving force behind the UK’s continued love affair with two wheels.

Data shows sales of BMX have grown more than any other cycling category this year. BMX now accounts for 16% of the total cycle market and looks set to overhaul traditional City bikes, currently 17%.

Retailer Halfords said demand is being driven by freewheeling youngsters looking for cycles with more edgy designs and better styling, from X-Rated to Apollo to the top-end, cool looking, US designed VooDoo range.

Widely available YouTube videos showing amazing bike tricks and the spread of a BMXers language through social networks has helped to drive the revival in BMX. They are becoming a fashion and lifestyle choice of cycles for both boys and girls alike.

The BMX almost disappeared during the 1990s but now analysts GFK say figures show that one in five bike sales are BMX and 94% of BMX’s sold in Great Britain are purchased by 6-15 year olds. There’s also a trend to customise BMX bikes. Halfords says the sales of accessories like skull and dice decorated valve caps and special stunt pegs have risen, along with skater helmets and fingerless mitts.

The growing popularity of BMX has developed against a backdrop of the rise of the ‘Mamils’, who have been at the forefront of the popularity of cycling in recent years and have driven the ownership of cycles in the UK to top over 4 million.

Now Dads in their thirties who remember the fun they had on BMX bikes are encouraging the revival, according to analysts Allegra Strategies in its Project Velo report on the cycle industry.

Halfords BMX expert Peter Hunt said: “BMX is becoming mainstream once again. It was always there with the cult pros but has filtered down to a new generation. GFK reported 1 in 5 kids are choosing fashion over form, with a BMX and our sales trends support this. BMX is already well established with boys, but we are now noticing a marked increase from girls too.

“We stock an extensive range of models to ensure our customers can find their perfect bike. Our VooDoo range is particularly exciting, offering cutting edge premium bikes at great prices.

Industry Cycling magazine BikeBiz said the popularity of BMX products were now exceeding peaks seen in the 1980s when speciality bikes became all the rage among youngsters.

Success of UK riders such as BMX World Champion woman rider Shanaze Reade has done much to boost the sport’s popularity and new facilities for BMX riders are emerging all the time to cope with renewed demand for specialist facilities.

Stephen Rooke, Director of Redditch Skatepark and BMX Track, the largest outdoor supervised charity skatepark in the UK, said: We are seeing whole families taking part in racing and involved in the club. BMX has grown to become the dominant discipline at our venue.

“BMX riding is a way of life to many young people, where they gain amazing riding skills and develop a high level of fitness, agility and strength by doing something they enjoy. It is a great way to tackle youth boredom that has been linked to antisocial behaviour.”

Construction is shortly to begin on a 43-hectare ‘Cyclopark’ facility in Kent, where world-class facilities will include a 340 metre dedicated BMX circuit.

The Olympics and construction of London’s new cycling Velodrome and BMX track will further drive the popularity of the BMX, with 2012 Olympic cycling events including a BMX discipline after it was Introduced in Beijing 2008.

The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products and through Nationwide Autocentres is also the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operator.

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