Mountain Warehouse on a high with record festive trade
The chain said that like-for-like sales rocketed 13.6 per cent in the six weeks to 1 January, with international sales soaring 71 per cent. Total sales rose 28.8 per cent and online revenue increased 31.8 per cent.
Founder and chief executive Mark Neale said there had been “no signs” of consumer confidence waning, despite economic uncertainty triggered by the Brexit vote and a torrid time for much of the high street.
Neale added: “Part of the reason for our success is down to a relentless focus on improvement, 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.”
During the festive period, the company served more than one million customers, who snapped up over 2.5 million items, including more than 250,000 hats and pairs of gloves, 500,000 pairs of socks and 100,000 ski jackets.
Mountain Warehouse is now on course to rake in around £180 million in revenue this year, up 28 per cent on the £141m made in 2016.
In October, the firm warned the collapse in sterling will mean higher prices for shoppers, but Neale said any hikes would be kept to a minimum.
He added: “We haven’t increased prices in five years and we don’t want to. We’ve been working very hard to mitigate the fall in the value of the pound as much as we can, and because we are growing so fast we have been able to strike better deals with suppliers, so any price rises will be minimal.”
Last year, Mountain Warehouse took plans for a stock market flotation off the table, with Neale adding there are no current plans for another tilt.
The firm, which opened 34 more stores last year, also plans to ramp up its expansion, with the aim of eventually having 300 UK stores and 300 international outlets.
It currently has more than 200 UK stores, with a further 262 spanning seven countries including Canada, Ireland, Poland and the US. The group plans to open 20 new stores in the UK this year and recently set up shop in Aviemore, Dartmouth, Durham, Lewes and Lymington.