Reporting on a buoyant holiday season, Mountain Warehouse confirmed that it was preparing to open stores in two new markets in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic in the first quarter.
The cold snap in December pushed up sales for the British outdoor retailer, which focuses on its private label products, in the last six weeks of 2017. Mountain Warehouse reported that its sales were up by 38.2 percent for the period, with a jump of 33.1 percent on a comparable store basis.
The retailer opened more than 30 stores in the year to end with 270 outlets in seven countries, and it intends to repeat that in 2018. The company's international sales soared by 43 percent for the period, to make up 33 percent of its turnover with its stores in Poland, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the U.S. and Canada.
Another part of the growth came from a jump of 76.6 percent in online sales. Mountain Warehouse had its busiest day since its inception on Black Friday, with sales reaching about £2 million (€2.3m-$2.8m). Mountain Warehouse served about 1.5 million customers over the six weeks, selling about 250,000 pairs of socks and a similar quantity of gloves, 150,000 padded jackets and 80,000 pairs of snow boots.
The company's chief executive, Mark Neale, said in a statement that the shape of the holiday season has changed in recent years. Instead of gradually getting busier from November, the retailer saw a spike in sales on Black Friday, then a couple of quiet weeks and a late rush. This year the cold weather in the first week of December meant there wasn't much of a lull after Black Friday.
Meanwhile, the company reported further expansion for Zakti, the sports retail concept launched two years ago to capitalize on the demand for athleisure. Mountain Warehouse said that Zakti traded well for the six weeks, selling gym, running and cycling gear as well as skiwear.