Halfords and Bitrex | Bitrex - Keeping children safe

Halfords and Bitrex

We’re on a safety drive

The sweet, sharp smell of antifreeze is as evocative of winter in the northern hemisphere as pine needles or mince pies. It is a vital part of road safety on dirty rain-lashed roads.

But toddlers and small children don’t know that the glycol and ethanol contained in these products can be harmful. And while all parents know about the importance of safe storage, screenwash has to be on hand for a quick top-up. So, bottles of screenwash and de-icer may well end up in the kitchen near the back door, or rolling around the car footwell.

Halfords is the UK’s biggest retailer of bikes, car seats and auto care products. As a company committed to protecting families, Halfords know the importance of making products as safe as they can be. They’d never sell a bike to a child without a helmet. So they’d never sell an own label screenwash without a safety additive.

So in 2013, Halfords and Bitrex – two brands built on family safety – came to together to avert tragedy with the simplest of solutions: Halfords began adding Bitrex to all their own label screenwash and antifreeze.

But that was not the end of the story. Halfords recognised that their own staff are part of their strength. Customers expect them to be experts in car safety, so why not experts in preventing accidental poisoning too?


The 10,000-strong Bitrex Taste Test

Halfords worked with us to educate their retail store teams about their new safety additive – by hosting a large scale, all-staff Bitrex Taste Test.

Cue 10,000 tasting strips, hundreds of information leaflets and several huge boxes of milk chocolate (that other vital ingredient of the Bitrex Taste Test). Across 460 stores, Halfords retail teams gathered for an unforgettable (and hilarious) experience of Bitrex, the bitterest substance in the world.

The outcome?

  • Halfords boosted another aspect of their retail teams’ expertise, demonstrated good corporate social responsibility and increased sales.
  • Bitrex recruited 10,000 new brand ambassadors. Halfords staff are now experts in store, but also in the wider community as parents, carers, grandparents and neighbours.
  • Customers benefited from Halfords’ expert child safety advice and new-found knowledge about Bitrex.

Nothing could do more to enhance Halfords position as the guardian of family safety.

“Halfords would never sell a bike to a child without a helmet. So they’d never sell an own label screenwash without a safety additive.”

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