Outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse has defied the high street and reported record Christmas trading, with sales rising by nearly 12 percent to 84.7 million pounds in the 13 weeks to January 6.
The group, which specialises in outdoor clothing and equipment, stated that it served more than three million customers during the 13-week festive period with bestsellers including over 500,000 pairs of socks, almost a million fleeces, over 500,000 winter jackets and over 400,000 pairs of gloves.
Online sales over the Christmas period also helped drive growth, with online sales up 24.6 percent, which the outdoor chain added means that they are “on track” for record full-year profits.
Mountain Warehouse, which started with a single store in December 1997, and now has 340 stores in nine counties, also noted that it enjoyed a “bumper” Black Friday with online sales passing 1 million pounds on a single day for the first time in its 21-year history.
It added that total sales over Black Friday weekend were up 20 percent, while online sales over Black Friday weekend increased by 47.3 percent.
Mountain Warehouse founder and chief executive, Mark Neale said in a statement: “The business is continuing to perform strongly despite the economic backdrop.We had a bumper Black Friday weekend with total sales up 20 percent and online sales of over 1 million pounds for the first time in a single day.
“The prior year’s performance was exceptional due to the cold weather and widespread snow we saw in the run up to Christmas 2017. I’m therefore really pleased to report this record performance despite the unusually mild weather we experienced.”
Mountain Warehouse bucks high street trend and reports bumper Christmas trade
Neale added: “This puts us well on course for another record year and as a result we are continuing to invest in more stores, new territories and our online business. We are also building our infrastructure with new customer service and distribution centres to make sure we keep delivering for the over 10 million people who shop with us each year.”
Going against the market trend, the company added that it is planning to open 60 new stores and expects to reach 400 stores in the next 12-18 months. During the 13 weeks to January 6, it opened seven new stores in the UK, in Wells, Romsey, Kendal, St. Neots, St Ives, Deal, Tavistock, as well as new international openings in Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada.
New Zealand will be a big growth area for the brand in 2019 with the outdoor group looking to open up to six more stores, adding to the two it already has.
In addition, Mountain Warehouse also opened a new customer services centre in Coventry in November to support online growth, which will create 50 new jobs over the next 12 months, and will add to that with a new distribution centre in Poland in the spring to support continued European store growth.
Mountain Warehouse’s sister chain Neon Sheep, the stationery and lifestyle brand, also performed well with its sales rocketing 550 percent during the festive period. The chain now has 10 stores.
Images: courtesy of Mountain Warehouse