Go Outdoors, the outdoor lifestyle brand owned by JD Sports, has seen a decrease in profits for the year ending in January. Although the company experienced an increase in turnover, higher costs have negatively impacted its bottom line. Pre-tax profits dropped from £21.5 million to £13.1 million due to rising property, utility, and freight expenses. Additionally, staff costs increased as a result of the national living wage hike and the opening of new stores.

Despite facing these challenges, Go Outdoors expanded its number of stores in the UK from 68 to 86 during the year. Despite the increase in turnover from £316.3 million to £338.2 million, and a rise in gross profit from £135.7 million to £140.4 million, operating profit decreased to £10.1 million from £21.5 million in the previous year. Net profit for the period also dropped to £11.1 million from £17.2 million.

Go Outdoors attributed the increase in turnover to the absence of pandemic restrictions, which allowed its stores to operate normally throughout the year. The company also introduced a new retail banner called Go Outdoors Express, consisting of 12 smaller high street stores that opened in November 2022. This expansion aims to target a different set of consumers on high streets, moving away from the typical out-of-town retail park consumers.

Alongside the new retail banner, Go Outdoors invested in a flagship concept across six locations, which reportedly performed exceptionally well. However, the company experienced a decline in its online market during the financial year. Although e-sales were higher than pre-pandemic levels, the decrease in online sales partially offset the strong performance in physical locations.

Despite the challenges faced, Go Outdoors remains a significant player in the outdoor lifestyle market. With its expansion into new store formats and the success of its flagship concept, the company is focused on adapting to the evolving retail landscape and reaching a broader customer base.

Useful links:

1. JD Sports
2. Go Outdoors