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Ash4781

Halfords

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Wiper blades? I have met women who can fit rubbers. In the dark. With their mouth.

Several years ago, a fine lady of my acquaintance once achieved the above on my good self.

And she was in the passenger seat of my XR3i at the time.

And it was in Middlesbrough.

Those who haven't experienced this should get it somewhere near the top of your list of things to do before you die.

Trust me, it's amazing.

NOTE: The XR3i and Middlesbrough are optional, and the lack of either will not adversely affect the experience...

XYY

Edited by The XYY Man

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I think you have missed one point about the RM. It's appallingly bad management. The way the business is run. The incompetent decisions. That is one of the main causes of their problems.

Don't just blame the staff at the coal face. And no, I do not work for the RM, nor ever have, nor does anyone I am associated with.

:rolleyes: and that is one damn big point.

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Guest eight

Several years ago, a fine lady of my acquaintance once achieved the above on my good self.

And she was in the passenger seat of my XR3i at the time.

And it was in Middlesbrough.

Those who haven't experienced this should get it somewhere near the top of your list of things to do before you die.

Trust me, it's amazing.

XYY

Exactly the same thing happened to me! Except it was an RS Turbo, and just outside Brancepeth, County Durham.

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Several years ago, a fine lady of my acquaintance once achieved the above on my good self.

And she was in the passenger seat of my XR3i at the time.

And it was in Middlesbrough.

Those who haven't experienced this should get it somewhere near the top of your list of things to do before you die.

Trust me, it's amazing.

NOTE: The XR3i and Middlesbrough are optional, and the lack of either will not adversely affect the experience...

XYY

I tried it too in "Notting hill" & in U.S it was one of my "American Dreamz" I was in "Love Actually"

The Second time didn't GO DOWN too well

hughmugshot.jpg

I'll get my cape..

Edited by Crashman Begins

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Ultimately, Halfords market was to stock lots of parts for lots of cars.

Shelves packed with thousands of products, hundreds of different paint colours, hundreds of wipers, dozens of oils. Washers, spark plugs, filters, gaskets, cleaning products.

And that's the catch... there are too many different car models. When Halfords was conceived, there were a fraction of the number of model of car available and in common use.

Now they simply can't carry enough range in the space available... essentially, they can't compete with the internet.

Their best bet now would do to go Argos... scrap the shelves and have it all out of sight, just catalogues on display and a service counter... I need an X, a Y and a Z for a for Ford Fiesta Estate Convertible.

Customers don't need 2 racks of cans of spray paint, they need to walk up to the counter, give them the cars registration number or VIN and have the person hand them a can of paint, air filter, oil filter, oil, whatever.

If they do it right they would expand their range enough to end up becoming a primary parts supplier for local garages.

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Well yes, but changing bulbs at the front of many newer cars seems to require the assistance of a garage or even body shop

from HOWTO: New Octavia - Headlight Bulb Change

http://www.briskoda.net/forums/topic/64315-howto-new-octavia-headlight-bulb-change/

(just grabbed this quickly and I'm sure there are even more complex examples)

A year back I asked my tyre place to change the top tailgate brake light on a Fiesta Ghia and the mechanic couldn't work out how to gain access, and I certainly wouldn't be able to.

The most technical bit of equipment I have bought from Halfords was a set of four tyre valve dust caps.

But basically cars don't really go wrong that much these days, unless you are running bangers or classics.

Edited by crashmonitor

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Exactly the same thing happened to me! Except it was an RS Turbo, and just outside Brancepeth, County Durham.

It would seem that a quick Ford is pretty much desirable. Now if Ford would only make a car to lust over again.

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Ultimately, Halfords market was to stock lots of parts for lots of cars.

Shelves packed with thousands of products, hundreds of different paint colours, hundreds of wipers, dozens of oils. Washers, spark plugs, filters, gaskets, cleaning products.

And that's the catch... there are too many different car models. When Halfords was conceived, there were a fraction of the number of model of car available and in common use.

Now they simply can't carry enough range in the space available... essentially, they can't compete with the internet.

Their best bet now would do to go Argos... scrap the shelves and have it all out of sight, just catalogues on display and a service counter... I need an X, a Y and a Z for a for Ford Fiesta Estate Convertible.

Customers don't need 2 racks of cans of spray paint, they need to walk up to the counter, give them the cars registration number or VIN and have the person hand them a can of paint, air filter, oil filter, oil, whatever.

If they do it right they would expand their range enough to end up becoming a primary parts supplier for local garages.

This isn't correct except for your last sentence.....which they have now missed the boat on unless they go super-agressively after that market as others have filled it.

It may look like there are loads of car models but there are now more common parts than there have ever been. In the old days, parts were just common to manufacturers, now they are common across manufacturers as we have same models effectively re-badged for a couple (or a few) manufacturers at a time.

Over the last 10-15 years Halfords have walked away from their core markets (which have kept them going all these years) and chased the new tech money. A succession of financial idiots ran the place and didn't understand the market they were in and instead took their eye off the core mega-profitable stuff (000's % markup).

This is what the financial people do to places, follow their own rules which don't apply to anything except finance (even then the rules are made up as they go along) and then they 'never saw it coming' when the place crashes down.

They didn't see the EU directive opening the market up for them as a primary supplier of parts making use of their volume buying and actually ran-down their floor space allocated to parts. They were too busy focusing on alloys wheels, Sat-Nav, ICE, Camping (WTF?), Touring, RC Cars (i kid you not), selling off their garages (only to buy back at a loss!) and diluting their reputation in bikes. On bikes, they made a short term gain with some of their contracts with suppliers that busted their long-term reputation of selling solid bikes.

Their repetitive, constant, boring high-margin distress-sale products were replaced with sexy, shiny, new, one-off, reward sales which had singularly high margin per unit in pounds but could not match the low value, high margin high volume profits generated.

Reward sales will end up in a saturated market until something new comes along, distress sales will just grind out the profits. Something new did come along; sat-nav on smartphones....it slayed the Halfords golden goose. No-one noticed the goose was actually a one-trick pony until it was too late. Alloys come as standard on most cars now and built-in stereos are often better than reasonably priced aftermarket ones are.....we'll not mention what CANBUS can do to the remainder of the car with ICE that's not 100% compatible.

Surprise, surprise that when discretionary spend dries up so too do the reward sales and as that is their business model they are now in the toilet. Garages are still buying parts for people's cars though and more folk are now trying their hand at home services, brake pads etc as they need doing (distress) but the funds aren't there to 'get a man in'.

What doesn't help is that they also stopped taking on people with independent knowledge of the motor or cycle industry who (except for the people have been there for years) just follow the rules they've been given and they can't add value to the customer who normally need guidance. It's no surprise the guy who had to jump used to run Tesco and he tried all the same sort of staffing tricks. This also drove customers away.

They were slow to embrace the net but it has helped them now they have a presence. Their USP of being open outside office hours is their major saving grace. Otherwise places like ECP and GSF could totally crush them. The advertising they do helps them keep above the other internet based retailers as being the first place those not too clued up will always think of.

Believe it or not, people like 'browsing' car parts. Once they have browsed they will buy. I found that counter-intuitive too. The Argos-style counter (which they actually now do have as you can reserve online and collect instore) would drive a lot of customers away. Halfords don't have enough parts coverage to go fully 'Argos' and they don't have enough out on the floor to cover most customers either.....they really have put themselves in no-man's-land.

They really are a perfect metaphor (or case study?) for all the idiocy that's gone on over the last decade+.

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This isn't correct except for your last sentence.....which they have now missed the boat on unless they go super-agressively after that market as others have filled it.

It may look like there are loads of car models but there are now more common parts than there have ever been. In the old days, parts were just common to manufacturers, now they are common across manufacturers as we have same models effectively re-badged for a couple (or a few) manufacturers at a time.

Over the last 10-15 years Halfords have walked away from their core markets (which have kept them going all these years) and chased the new tech money. A succession of financial idiots ran the place and didn't understand the market they were in and instead took their eye off the core mega-profitable stuff (000's % markup).

This is what the financial people do to places, follow their own rules which don't apply to anything except finance (even then the rules are made up as they go along) and then they 'never saw it coming' when the place crashes down.

They didn't see the EU directive opening the market up for them as a primary supplier of parts making use of their volume buying and actually ran-down their floor space allocated to parts. They were too busy focusing on alloys wheels, Sat-Nav, ICE, Camping (WTF?), Touring, RC Cars (i kid you not), selling off their garages (only to buy back at a loss!) and diluting their reputation in bikes. On bikes, they made a short term gain with some of their contracts with suppliers that busted their long-term reputation of selling solid bikes.

Their repetitive, constant, boring high-margin distress-sale products were replaced with sexy, shiny, new, one-off, reward sales which had singularly high margin per unit in pounds but could not match the low value, high margin high volume profits generated.

Reward sales will end up in a saturated market until something new comes along, distress sales will just grind out the profits. Something new did come along; sat-nav on smartphones....it slayed the Halfords golden goose. No-one noticed the goose was actually a one-trick pony until it was too late. Alloys come as standard on most cars now and built-in stereos are often better than reasonably priced aftermarket ones are.....we'll not mention what CANBUS can do to the remainder of the car with ICE that's not 100% compatible.

Surprise, surprise that when discretionary spend dries up so too do the reward sales and as that is their business model they are now in the toilet. Garages are still buying parts for people's cars though and more folk are now trying their hand at home services, brake pads etc as they need doing (distress) but the funds aren't there to 'get a man in'.

What doesn't help is that they also stopped taking on people with independent knowledge of the motor or cycle industry who (except for the people have been there for years) just follow the rules they've been given and they can't add value to the customer who normally need guidance. It's no surprise the guy who had to jump used to run Tesco and he tried all the same sort of staffing tricks. This also drove customers away.

They were slow to embrace the net but it has helped them now they have a presence. Their USP of being open outside office hours is their major saving grace. Otherwise places like ECP and GSF could totally crush them. The advertising they do helps them keep above the other internet based retailers as being the first place those not too clued up will always think of.

Believe it or not, people like 'browsing' car parts. Once they have browsed they will buy. I found that counter-intuitive too. The Argos-style counter (which they actually now do have as you can reserve online and collect instore) would drive a lot of customers away. Halfords don't have enough parts coverage to go fully 'Argos' and they don't have enough out on the floor to cover most customers either.....they really have put themselves in no-man's-land.

They really are a perfect metaphor (or case study?) for all the idiocy that's gone on over the last decade+.

Not that these points aren't true but ultimately the real problem is they're a traditional bricks and mortar retailer trapped in lots of expensive properties that are expensive to staff. There's a whole list of things they could have done better or decisions that could have been made in a more long-term interest but it doesn't really matter much.

The reason it doesn't matter is that whatever they do to attempt to reinvent themselves, post-internet, it would still be more efficient to set-up from scratch without all the unnecessary baggage of property, staff and pensions of staff that used to work there.

It's doomed just like HMV and Woolworths were and Argos and WH Smith will be. I think people like to think that some route back to profitability can always be plotted, I think its part of a human condition of deluding themselves (not that they'd ever start one) they would never find themselves with an insolvent business on their hands and everything can be foreseen and avoiding action taken.

Businesses are a bit like old desktop computers where you keep stuffing more RAM and new motherboards inside it in an attempt to keep it viable but the point comes where the most sensible move is to scrap the whole thing and start again.

Another general point I was going to make on this thread is that 'buying power' isn't all that people imagine it to be these days there's actually been a compression between the prices the biggest and smallest pay direct from a supplier. The price saving between single outlet and national multiple chain probably isn't anywhere near enough to fund the head office/distribution centre logistics required to buy in the volume to get the best price these days.

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Yes, you are correct they are locked into a lot of stupid high rent, long-term property deals. We're back to the idiot financials again.

Being 'bricks and mortar' is not a problem in itself. The problem is the same as the reason we're all here debating; that the leeches have broken the system by just demanding too much rent. Doesn't help that people decide to keep paying it. I could also make an argument that the war on the car by TPTB (who are just behaving like NIMBYs) is killing traditional town centres while they refuse to accept what the population wants to do and tries to foist more and more 'green' alternatives onto a population who just don't want to participate. The irony that they are using cars to pay for their 'initiatives' is lost on them; this is a discussion for another thread.

The 'remote shopping' concept is not new and pre-dates the internet. People like the activity of shopping and this will never change as it's a form of entertainment. It's just been made prohibitively expensive.....for the moment.

If Halfords started all over again they would struggle to reach the same level as now and would only end up competing with all the internet parts sites that are out there now. It might be more efficient but it would also wipe out their USP.

People went to the net because it was cheaper in the beginning. Then the convenience factor kicked in as internet retailer and parcel companies realised there were bucks to be made. Cheap, quick deliveries were a myth even as late as 3 years ago. People chasing the cheapest price now spend all their time comparing as there are so many players. Even comparison websites can't keep up. The internet phenomenon is going to mature soon and will not be the ultimate goal but will be a complimentary piece of the whole puzzle.....i don't know how long this will take.

The internet is not the answer to business just like bricks and mortar only now aren't. People like browsing 'stuff'. It's why all the out of town, free parking mega-centres are constantly packed. It's city centre bricks and mortar retailing that's dying.

They could go to a more slimmed-down, core-market model by getting rid of stuff like paints, mats, wheel trims etc (tat basically) and become targeted on quality or they could do a strategic tie-up with other retailers who have floor-space and footfall.....a section in Tesco or Morissons as an example. They are also hideously anonymous in the big shopping centres with all those parked cars with opportunity for fitting sales and huge footfall of browsers.

The high-street is dying because of a combination of old business models, greedy councils and greedy landlords. They are making it difficult for people to shop (in lots of different ways) so people have changed their habits. It was always going to happen. It only took this long as there wasn't another option before.

Halfords will be fine (even with bricks and mortar) as long as they adapt as they have a robust market to play in. They also have to get retailers to run the place instead of idiots with their shiny MBA straight out of LSE.

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  • 315 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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