If Halfords are like other big companies,then the staff they once had would have been valued and competent staff.But with more and more pressure for these people to work more and more hours for the same or less money,as they cut back on staff,the good staff leave and go on to do something else leaving the unemployable dregs behind doing the best they can.Not that I understand these things or that I work in such a situation(much).
Ive never used Halfords in a fix my bike situation,but I have bought over priced sh1te tools from them in the past and lived to regret it.
If Halfords were to invest in some more training for staff,and invest in some better products then they may stand a better chance of myself visiting again.
All the shops Ive been in are very corporate and uninviting(and usually upstairs too).The grey and orange colour schemes they use are depressing and you feel closed in.Not a good shopping experience in general.Shopping for car parts is a different beast and so should be treated differently.
Which shop do you prefer to go in(as a browser and possible buyer)?. A small bright shop with lots of display cabinets full of NOS gear of all different makes.A small selection of quality cycles.Lots of advertising brochures to be taken home.A counter with years of manufacturers advertising decals plastered all over it.Kids looking in through the window dreaming of downhill adventures or competing in the Milk race.A technician how will "nip into the back"too find that part for your 70s Campag stroone Italian road bike.The smell of new Tyres and GT85.
You leave with that little hard to find part,a hand full of stuff to read when you get home,some bits and pieces you dont need but hey they will come in one day,and that feeling of warm smugness happy in the knowledge that your a cyclist and your doing something different.
Or would you prefer a dark and uninviting struggle through rows of over priced car batteries and they type of cleaning products you get for xmas from your great Aunt.When you finally get to the corner of the warehouse you struggle to see anything that resembles what you are looking for and when you look for help no one is about,but as soon as you start prodding the seat on that Boardman,a member of staff is straight on your back offering a fantastic deal to boost their poor sales that month.You look at the other customer and judge their shopping experience is on a par with yours.No dream building here,just rows of cheap junk and no fore thought as to were it has been placed.You leave feeling cold and cheated,you wont have spent any money and you wish you had just gone on the internet and bought something from Chain reaction or simular.In fact you could have bought more from Asda.
Rant over.I know which shop I would love to own