// JD Sports’ outdoor division is to open more than 12 new stores this summer
// JD has already opened more than half a million square feet of space for its outdoor fascias, which include Go Outdoors, Blacks and Millets
JD Sports outdoors business is to open more than a dozen new stores this summer to capitalise on the huge spike in Brits spending time outside.
The division, which includes Go Outdoors, Blacks and Millets, has already added nearly half a million square feet of retail space so far this year, with new stores in Bangor, Swindon, Newcastle, Bury and Derby.
It comes as demand rises for products for Brits to enjoy the great outdoors.
The retail group said activities such as camping, hiking, cycling, and fishing have seen huge increases in equipment sales since pre-pandemic times.
Traffic on the Go Outdoors website for “camping” is up 44% so far this year against 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, with “walking” surging 69%, “fishing” soaring 72% and “cycling” jumping 21%.
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JD Outdoors chief executive Lee Bagnall said: “Our outdoor businesses 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.
“The new Go Outdoors stores now include recently acquired specialist concessions, such as equestrian, angling and bike stores, to appeal to this surging interest in outdoor activities.”
Bagnall said bricks-and-mortar stores were integral to the success of JD Sports’ outdoor businesses as its customers value its “unbeatable service”.
“That’s why we’re helping to secure the future of physical, brick-and-mortar stores, and is what has enabled us to secure and create a total of over 400 new job roles across the UK so far this year,” he added.
JD Outdoors marketing director Carly Czuba said: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of the new stores, and we’re not done yet.
“Each store has proven hugely popular in its respective community, with crowds queuing in their hundreds to celebrate the openings and meet a range of outdoor enthusiasts.”
Czuba added that the new stores had boosted membership numbers of its Go Outdoors members club, which she said was now the largest of its kind in Europe.
“From investing in a new pair of hiking boots, to taking the plunge and going on their first family camping trip, 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,” she said.
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