GO Outdoors for growth

John Graham.
John Graham.
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GO Outdoors, the Sheffield-based outdoor leisure wear and equipment retailer, has boosted sales by 57 per cent to £114.9 million.

The company, whose headquarters is just off Bramall Lane, says online sales rose by 45 per cent, while like for like sales from its portfolio of 27 superstores rose by 10 per cent.

Chief executive, John Graham, said: “We are bucking the trend in retail and are continuing to grow both in terms of sales and number of stores.

“Our strength lies in the fact we are able to cater for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts across a number of outdoor activities.

“We offer the most comprehensive range of branded products as well as our own-labels so we are able to give a variety of choice for all budgets.”

Far from being hit by the snow and the coldest December in 100 years, the company, which boasts that it’s range spans everything you might need for walking the dog to climbing Mount Everest, saw takings for the five weeks to Christmas Eve rise by more than 20 per cent.

Now, GO Outdoors, which has 1,200 employees and opened 10 new stores in 2010, is planning to create 500 jobs this year by opening a further ten stores as it moves towards its target of 50 stores by 2012.

Plans have already been confirmed to open stores in Manchester, York and Stoke this year.

News of the sales success came as GO Outdoors was named one of the three fastest growing private equity-backed companies in the UK.

Last year, the company was placed 40th in the Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 rankings, but, following two years of profits more than doubling, the company has been placed third overall and first in Yorkshire.

Leeds-based private equity company YFM backed a £1.5 million buyout at the firm in 1998

Authors of the rankings say GO Outdoors’ profits have risen 114 per cent a year from £1.4 million in 2008 to an annualised figure of £6.6 million in 2010.

Barnsley-based low cost food retailer, Frozen Value was placed 67th in the ranking, after boosting profits by 30 per cent to £3 million.

Meanwhile, Sheffield-based express parcel courier, Tuffnells Parcels Express came 95th after profits rose by 24 per cent to £11 million.

GO Outdoors stocks more than 47,000 products for activities such as camping, climbing, cycling, fishing, horse riding, running, skiing and walking, made by famous brands, like Berghaus and North Face, in addition to its own products, sold under the Hi gear, Freedom Trail and North Ridge names.