Profits and revenues climb at outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse as it opens more stores

Tracey Boles
Clothes designed by Mountain Warehouse

Mountain Warehouse, the outdoor retailer, saw sales climb 30.8 per cent to £184.8m in the 12 months to the end of February.

Profits increased 22 per cent to almost £20m over the same period, it revealed today.

The business, started in 1997 with a single shop in Swindon, also opened 41 branches, creating more than 400 jobs. That took the number of stores to 262 at the year-end, including over 60 in six countries overseas.

Founder and CEO Mark Neale said: “We started with a single shop in 1997 and 10 years later in 2007 we had around 40 stores with sales of about £20m. We passed 100 stores in 2010 and have been on a steep climb since then with online and international playing a bigger and bigger part in the business.”

International sales doubled and accounted for 25 per cent of revenue last year, up from 20 per cent in the previous 12 months, helped by new stores in North America. The international business is now as large as the whole Mountain Warehouse business was in 2010. The company is exploring the possibility of opening stores in Czech Republic to build in the success of its business in Poland where it has opened three more stores in recent weeks, taking the total to 15. It is also looking for more sites in Germany.

The group plans to open 40 more stores this year, creating at least 400 jobs. He also sees scope to eventually have more than 300 UK stores and for international to be at least as big as the UK business.

In recent years, part of the focus has been on weather-proofing the business by widening the product range to include running and cycling kit and more summer clothes, particularly for children. This includes a collaboration with TV explorer Steve Backshall, who helped design a range of shorts, T-shirts and backpacks featuring sharks, giraffes, wolves and other wildlife designs.

In November 2015, the company launched a ‘sporty sister brand’ Zakti, to enter the rapidly-growing ‘ath-leisure’ market.

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