Outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse is accelerating the pace of store openings after posting a record sales peak.
The group recorded a 22.6% rise in revenue to £371m in the 12 months to the end of February 2023, which the retailer said was the “highest in the company’s 26-year history”.
It made a £1.5m loss due to “soaring freight and energy costs” but saw record first-half sales of £171m and underlying profit of £6.7m in the six months to the end of August 2023.
Mountain Warehouse currently has 370 stores across eight countries and is opening a new branch every week in the lead-up to Christmas.
It opened 35 new shops last year and is planning to open 50 next year as shoppers return to the high street.
This year has seen Mountain Warehouse shops open in Hereford, Lancaster, Cromer, Gloucester, Exeter, Bedford, Bristol, Northallerton, Cwmbran and London’s Covent Garden, as well as one in Warsaw, Poland, and two each in Canada and New Zealand.
Two new stores opened in Newark and Swindon last week, with branches in Lincoln, Hexham, Stratford-upon-Avon and three more stores overseas to open between now and Christmas.
The new openings have created around 350 jobs this year, with more than 3,500 employed by the retailer in total.
Mountain Warehouse has also opened much larger stores, with some operating in former Topshop branches and retail parks, and is looking to take over some ex-Wilko stores.
Founder Mark Neale said: “During Covid, there was a belief that nobody was ever going to go to a store again and their days were numbered, but that’s proved to be completely wide of the mark.
“Whilst our online business had a big boost during the pandemic and continues to go from strength to strength, our stores have bounced back with gusto, showing that customers want to shop both channels.
“We are having our busiest Black Friday weekend ever, with sales of more than £10m and more than a million people visiting our stores.
“The current cold snap may not be to everyone’s liking, but if you need outdoor clothing to keep you warm and dry this winter Mountain Warehouse has some great products at fantastic prices both in store and online.”