Mountain Warehouse has record Christmas on expansion push, says physical stores have a future
Mountain Warehouse ended 2016 on a high note, with sales up 28.8% in the six weeks to January 1. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer said growth was strong across all sales channels, including its UK stores, online and internationally.
Sales were up 13.6% on a like-for-like basis, with online revenue increasing 31.8%.
The company has come a long way since opening its first shop in Swindon in 1997. During 2016, it opened 34 branches including recent openings in Lymington in Hampshire, Lewes in Sussex and a revamped store in Aviemore in Scotland. It now has a total of 262 stores across the UK, Europe and North America.
During the festive period, Mountain Warehouse served more than 1mcustomers, who bought over 2.5m items. The most popular items included over 250,000 hats and pairs of gloves, 500,000 pairs of socks and 100,000 ski jackets, as consumers prepared their wardrobes for winter.
International sales rocketed 71% during the period, accounting for almost 30% of total sales.
The group said its new sportswear brand Zakti also traded well, helped by the launch of a new range for children. It now stocks skiwear, as well as yoga, running and cycling kit and apparel.
“Our performance over the festive period was outstanding, putting the seal on another excellent year for the business,” said CEO Mark Neale, addign his backing for the continued existence of physical stores, despite the weakness in the sector overall. “Mountain Warehouse celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017 and we continue to believe that there is plenty of life in UK High Streets,” he said.
The company will continue its expansion this year with the opening of some 30 new stores, including new locations in Fowey, Cornwall and Katowice, Poland.
In the year to February 2016, it made pre-tax profits of £16.2million, up 36%, on the previous year.
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