Halfords is British automotive parts, camping and touring retailer operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The business was founded by Frederick Rushbrooke in 1892 in Birmingham as a wholesale ironmongery. Ten years later Rushbrooke moved to a store on Halford Street in Leicester to start selling cycling goods, and the store got its name from the name of the street. In 1931, the business opened its 200th store and in 1945, purchased the Birmingham Bicycle Company. In 1968, the company opened its 300th store.
In 1969, Halfords became part of Burmah Oil after the takeover between Burmah and Smiths Industries. In 1983, the Ward White Group acquired the company and eventually bought the Boots Group in 1991. Regarding this in 2002, the company was taken over by CVC Capital Partners and in 2004 was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
In July 2005, Halfords entered into a collaboration agreement with Japanese car accessory retailer, Autobacs Seven Co. Autobacs has stores around the world and is also known as the title sponsor of D1, Super GT, and Grand Prix. In 2010, the company purchased the Nationwide Autocentre MOT chain from Phoenix, and as of January 2013, Halfords Autocentre has over 250 garages across the UK.
Up until April 2013, Halfords operated stores outside the UK and Ireland; however, that is no longer the case. Halfords sub-brands the form part of its portfolio are: Boardman Bikes, Bikehut, Apollo, Carrera bicycles, Urban Express, Victoria Pendelton, Trax, Sendai, Exodus, Ripspeed, and Pampero.
Currently, Halfords operates 460 stores out of which 430 are superstores located adjacent to a car park and close to 30 high street stores. According to the company, Halford stores are just within 20 minutes traveling time for around 90% of the population in the UK. The three strategic pillars of the company are: inspiring cyclist of every age, equipping families for their leisure time and supporting drivers of every car.