The car parts and leisure goods chain soared to the top of the FTSE 250 Index risers board after it revealed retail sales returned to growth following a strong summer for bicycle sales.
But trading was subdued on the wider London market, with the FTSE 100 Index closing two points ahead at 5827.8.
Ongoing fears over Spain and Middle East tensions involving Syria and Turkey kept the market in check, although positive US economic data helped Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average lift 0.7% in early trading.
Attention in London was also focused on the monthly policy decisions of central banks in the UK and Europe.
The Bank of England produced no surprises by leaving interest rates at 0.5% and holding fire on more quantitative easing (QE), while the European Central Bank also held rates.
The potential for more QE at the Bank of England's next rates meeting saw the pound weaken, falling to a two-week low of 1.24 euros.
But sterling rose to 1.616 US dollars as it clawed back some of yesterday's losses against the greenback.
Among stocks, the spotlight was firmly on Halfords after its resurgent sales performance.
With last night's appointment of former Pets at Home boss Matt Davies as chief executive also well-received, shares moved 37.5p higher to 303.5p.
Sugar and starch firm Tate & Lyle was one of the top risers in the FTSE 100 after Investec Securities raised its target price on the stock following recent second quarter figures. Shares were 12.5p higher at 687p.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays were both higher, up 1.7p to 259.8p and 2.3p to 222.6p respectively, but Tesco fell for the second session in a row, down 9.8p to 318.2p, as analysts digested the scale of the challenge facing the supermarket giant following a 12% fall in half-year profits.
The update from Halfords and another from fellow FTSE 250 company Ted Baker helped lift spirits among top flight retail stocks amid signs that consumers are still spending on non-essential items.
Next set the pace with a rise of 3% or 93p to 3592p, while B&Q owner Kingfisher added 4.2p to 268.7p and Marks & Spencer cheered 3.7p to 365.5p.
Fashion chain Ted Baker was 7.5p higher at 921p in the second tier after its recent overseas expansion helped it post a slightly better-than-expected 10% rise in underlying profits. It also increased its half-year dividend by 10%.
Investors were also watching developments at Redrow, which is currently the subject of a 152p a share or £562 million takeover approach from founder Steve Morgan.
The group was facing a Takeover Panel deadline for a deal of 5pm today, but announced after the market close that it had secured an extension to October 18. Shares were 0.4p higher at 158.9p, reflecting expectations of a raised offer from Mr Morgan's consortium.
The biggest Footsie risers were Next up 93p to 3592p, Weir Group ahead 38p to 1800p, Tate & Lyle 12.5p higher at 687p and Intercontinental Hotels up 30p to 1669p.
The biggest Footsie fallers were Tesco down 9.8p to 318.2p, Xstrata off 20.1p to 948.3p, Johnson Matthey 48p lower at 2369p and Lloyds Banking Group down 0.8p to 38p.
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