Halfords signs up Hogarth

Cycling and car parts chain Halfords has brought in the Hogarth Partnership for a financial brief – renewing its relationship with Julian Walker.

Walker advised Halfords when working at Gainsborough Communications, where he was one of three founders.

Gainsborough closed when Walker’s partners – Duncan Murray and Andy Cornelius – joined College Hill earlier this year (PRWeek, 3 February).

Walker joined Hogarth as a director in February (PRWeek, 2 March). At the time, he rejected a number of other offers in the buoyant City comms recruitment market. Hogarth contains ex-Shandwick staffers who worked with Walker when he was also at Shandwick.

Cornelius and Murray took a range of clients with them to College Hill, including Halfords, Somerfield and Debenhams. The duo have since announced they are to sever ties with College Hill, prompting Halfords to switch agencies.

Halfords shares surged last week on talks that Autobacs 7, a Japanese firm that already holds a seven per cent stake in the British store, could be gearing up for a takeover. The talk sent shares up five per cent.

Halfords group chairman Richard Pym is one of the names expected to form part of the Virgin Group’s proposed team to take over the ailing Northern Rock bank. Pym retired in July as group chief executive of Alliance & Leicester, a position that gives him experience of the Northern Rock market.

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