Halfords has launched a drive to fill 1,000 technician roles over the subsequent 12 months by focusing on extra feminine recruits and retirees, because the UK’s tight labor market prompts employers to contemplate new hiring methods.
Saying a brief halving of income as clients reduce on discretionary spending amid the price of residing disaster, the bike and bicycle retailer warned that its full-year outcomes could be on the decrease finish of expectations.
Nonetheless, he mentioned inflationary stress has additionally boosted the membership of motorbike loyalty golf equipment from drivers desirous to cowl the hovering value of operating a automobile.
Its chief government, Graham Stapleton, mentioned: “To assist meet that demand, we are actually launching a recruitment drive to fill 1,000 new automotive technician roles over the subsequent 12 months. Specifically, we hope to draw retirees again into the workforce, in addition to improve the variety of ladies in roles technician.
Trade throughout the UK is going through labor shortages, with unemployment at its lowest degree since 1974 in October, massive numbers leaving the workforce by early retirement and long-term sickness, plus the influence of decrease migration charges after Britain leaves the EU.
In its interim outcomes, Halfords, the UK’s largest automotive service supplier, with greater than 600 garages and nearly 700 vans, reported a pre-tax revenue of £29m for the six months to September 30, down from £57.9m final 12 months.
Income rose 10.2% to £765.7m within the first half, which was primarily pushed by the Autocentres a part of the enterprise coping with automobile and MOT companies. Nonetheless, like-for-like retail gross sales had been 6% decrease year-on-year, with customers following bike spending.
Halfords mentioned for the reason that first half there was “resilient buying and selling within the classes which might be extra need-based however there was softening within the extra discretionary areas”.
It added: “It stays difficult to foretell shopper confidence for the rest of 2022-23 however we don’t anticipate the challenges going through companies to abate anytime quickly.”
The group now expects pre-tax revenue within the full 12 months to be on the decrease finish of its earlier steering of between £65m to £75m.
Matt Britzman, fairness analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, mentioned: “Halfords’ choice to give attention to constructing a extra dependable service income stream could not come quickly sufficient, as customers battling value pressures are transferring away from smarter spending.
“This development is especially seen in Halfords’ once-booming cycle division, the place gross sales are falling again house after the pandemic growth.”