HALFORDS has announced that they will be closing up to 60 stores across the UK as part of a plan to close a tenth of their outlets.

As yet, the company has not announced which branches will be affected with no word as to the fate of Blackburn’s Halfords store.

This comes despite a spike in bicycle sales since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

A statement issued by the company said: “COVID-19 has materially changed the retail outlook for the coming months and has overshadowed Brexit as the emerging risk.

“We have therefore adjusted our short-term focus to reduce cost and working capital, ensuring our colleagues are engaged in the success of the business and, of particular importance, adapting quickly to new customer trends.”

The well known cycle retailer, which employs around 10,000 has said they will try to move as many staff as possible to other branches, but admits that these closures will mean job losses.

Halfords was allowed to remain open throughout the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown, classed as an essential business.

However, the company chose to close sites and operate an employee-only model where customers could make purchases from outside or online, meaning of 335 of Halfords’ 446 retail stores were run as such during the lockdown.

The chain was not prepared to comment on individual store closures.