JD Outdoors will expand its footprint with the opening of over a dozen new stores by the end of the summer, amid a spike in demand for outdoor products as Britain spends more time outside in the UK and Europe.
Adding nearly half a million square feet of retail space and creating over 400 jobs already this year, including new premises in Bangor, Swindon, Newcastle, Bury and Derby, the retailer is expanding its footprint for outdoor equipment and apparel.
JD Outdoors is the name behind brands such as GO Outdoors, Blacks and Millets.
The new GO Outdoors stores now include recently acquired specialist concessions, such as equestrian, angling and bike stores, to appeal to a surging interest in outdoor activities.
The company said it has had a “much-improved year” with an elevated demand for holidays in the UK and a general recognition of the physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors combining to drive a strong demand for outdoor living and cycling categories in particular.
Activities including camping, hiking, cycling, and fishing have reportedly seen increases in demand for related equipment since pre-pandemic times. According to JD, traffic on the GO Outdoors website for camping so far this year is up +44% from 2019, alongside walking (+69%), cycling (+21%) and fishing (+72%).
Lee Bagnall, CEO of JD Outdoors, said: “I am delighted that our stores and team continue to grow and to inspire and equip thousands of people to enjoy the Great British outdoors and National Parks.
“Our face-to-face conversations with customers allow us to provide the unbeatable service that we pride ourselves on, and to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we’re helping to secure the future of physical, brick-and-mortar stores.”
Carly Czuba, JD Outdoors’ marketing director, added: “Each store has proven hugely popular in its respective community. Our GO Outdoors members club has grown phenomenally, with the stores significantly contributing towards the total registration and is now the largest outdoor club in Europe.
“Our customers are showing a real appetite to get outdoors this summer – and we’re here with all the advice and inspiration to help them get out and do that.”
GO Outdoors is set to open three more new stores in Yorkshire, Cornwall and Sheffield alongside investing in new store formats in a further three during the rest of 2022.