Infrastructure — Investment

We are continuously investing to improve the customer offer. Our major initiatives are focused on our people and our systems, including the role our distribution centres, autocentres and stores play in creating an attractive retail offer.

People

During the year we invested in training and development initiatives across the Group. Focused training ensures everything is right first time. Investment in our people included "Flying Start" in our stores — a training initiative to ensure that our frontline store staff are trained to check and fit products on behalf of our customers.

Systems

Our system focus has been the integration of our multi-channel offer, streamlining and standardising processes as well as building capacity and resilience into our retail backbone.

As a result, our system upgrades have delivered a "least cost back office" as well as enhanced product availability and resulted in more accurate order fulfilment. Reductions in inventory holding costs have significantly offset ongoing system investment costs.

As our investment has scaled up we have increased our capacity to deal with customer orders and to handle order information. This increased capacity and increased intelligence around our customers' buying decisions helps us to continue to refine our customer proposition.

Linked to our delivery service we made a major investment in the launch of a competitive "next day" delivery service for "Order & Collect" as well as orders delivered direct to customers. Our system software allows us to know exactly where each product is from order to delivery, resulting in optimal order accuracy.

Distribution Centres

Investment in our Coventry Distribution Centre — a 320,000 sq. ft. customer fulfilment centre — is an essential part of our "least cost back office" strategy.

For our distribution centres, investment to increase pick accuracy is vital in improving product availability for our customers. In addition, our colleagues have undertaken more checking of goods-out before loading — this improves the integrity of our inventory management systems, leading to increased delivery accuracy.

Stores

We are investing in upgrading and revitalising our store formats to ensure they remain relevant and attractive to the changing profile of our customers. Our test store formats will help to provide feedback on future-proofing our store portfolio and will improve the customer offer through creating the right environment, encourage more effective communication around the purchasing decision and ensure that our service, people and products reflect customers' needs. In addition, we increased our Halfords Autocentres footprint, with investment in 20 new autocentres.

Multi-channel Offering

As we attract new customers it may be that our website is their first contact with our brand — we therefore need to make it user-friendly and engaging. We are therefore investing to make our online channel informative and intuitive, combined with good functionality to complement the physical presence of our stores.

Trading as Halfords since 1902

1st choice in core markets

467 stores and 260 autocentres

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