Mountain Warehouse on a high with record festive trade

Mountain Warehouse saw total sales climb 28.8% in the six weeks to 1 January. Picture: Contributed

Mountain Warehouse saw total sales climb 28.8% in the six weeks to 1 January. Picture: Contributed

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Outdoor goods and camping retailer Mountain Warehouse has racked up record Christmas trading as it pushes ahead with a store opening programme that will create hundreds of jobs.

Releasing its festive trading update, the firm said like-for-like sales jumped 13.6 per cent in the six weeks to 1 January, with international sales surging 71 per cent. Total sales rose 28.8 per cent and online revenue increased 31.8 per cent.

It helps that I’m not some three-year chief executive trying to make a quick buck

Mark Neale

The group opened 34 additional branches last year and plans to ramp up its expansion, with the aim of eventually having 300 UK stores and 300 international outlets.

It currently has some 200 UK stores, including more than 20 in Scotland, and 262 outlets in total spanning seven countries including the US, Poland, Ireland and Canada.

Mountain Warehouse plans to open 20 stores in the UK this year after recently setting up shop in Aviemore, Dartmouth, Durham, Lewes and Lymington.

READ MORE: Mountain Warehouse warns of higher prices after Brexit

Founder and chief executive Mark Neale said there had been “no signs” of consumer confidence waning, despite economic uncertainty triggered by June’s Brexit vote and a tough backdrop for much of the high street.

“Part of the reason for our success is down to a relentless focus on improvement,” he said, “and it helps that I’m not some three-year chief executive trying to make a quick buck. There’s also been a huge focus on value for money.”

He added: “Our performance over the festive period was outstanding, putting the seal on another excellent year for the business. I’m pleased to say that we are firing on all cylinders in all our channels: our UK stores, online and internationally.”

The group’s sporty sister brand Zakti, which sells ski wear, gym, yoga, running and cycling kit, also traded well, helped by the launch of a new range for children.

The company confirmed it would be continuing its collaboration with TV explorer Steve Backshall, launching a third season of children’s clothing for spring/summer 2017.

Mountain Warehouse is now on course to rake in some £180 million in revenue this year, up 28 per cent on the £141m booked in 2016.

In October, the firm warned the fall in the pound would mean higher prices for shoppers, but Neale said any hike will be “minimal”. During the festive period the firm served more than one million customers, who snapped up some 2.5 million items overall.

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