Scots weather helps drive Mountain Warehouse expansion

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Outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse is opening more Scottish stores – partly in response the country’s unpredictable weather.

Company founder Mark Neale said a new store would be opening on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in time for festival season.

He also outlined plans for further expansion in the city, as well as in Aberdeen and Inverness.

Mr Neale told the BBC: “This famous Scottish weather is usually good for us.”

His comments come as Mountain Warehouse announced its 22nd year of company growth.

Sales for the past year went up 13% to £255m, while pre-tax profit stood at £23.7m – a 14% increase from the year before.

‘Compete with rivals’

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Neale said: “I listened to the weather forecast and it brought a little smile to my face.

“This famous Scottish weather is usually good for us, but having said that we’ve now got ranges of shorts and sandles and summer dresses and so on – so if it’s a sunny day then we can cope as well.”

Mountain Warehouse – which has several hundred UK outlets – is now looking to open 20 more stores.

“We’ve signed for a second store in Edinburgh, on the Royal Mile, that we hope to get open in time for the festival,” he said.

“We’re looking at another Mountain Warehouse in Inverness, something in Aberdeen and we’re hoping to open a much bigger store on Princes Street in Edinburgh.”

Mr Neale said his company had managed to compete with rivals by selling own-brand products – which were often made in the same factories as pricier brands.

He added: “Some of the ‘death of the high street’ things you read about are a bit overrated, I think. We opened in St Andrews relatively recently and that was a town that we’d been trying to get into for years.”

Mr Neale said the company would also continue to expand in Europe, despite continued uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU, adding: “We could do with a bit more certainty and stability.”

For the latest business news as it happens, follow BBC presenter Andrew Black’s updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.

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