Mountain Warehouse has struck a deal to enter the Chinese market after reporting record first half sales, up 25% to £59.3m.
Pre-tax profit at the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer soared 31% to £4.3m in the six months to August 30, 2015. EBITDA also grew, up 28.1% to £6.6m. Internet sales were up 41%, accounting for almost 20% of revenue.
It now plans to launch on Alibaba’s Tmall website in time for China’s Singles’ Day on November 11, initially with around 300 items, and hopes to eventually sell its full range on the platform.
The company is on track to open 34 new stores in 2015, bringing its total store count to 225.
In the UK this year, new stores have already opened in Eastbourne, Evesham, Cromer, Shrewsbury and Inverness, giving the retailer a nationwide presence from the Highlands of Scotland to the Cornish coast.
“We have had another amazing six months, helped by the wet August, but with summer products also selling well earlier in the season. Our cycling and running ranges also continued to perform strongly and well ahead of last year,” said Mountain Warehouse founder and chief executive Mark Neale.
“I’m delighted to say, as we head into autumn, that this has continued, which means that 2015 is shaping up to be another record year.
“I am also very excited by our collaboration with Alibaba, which gives us direct access to sell into the Chinese market. We have been sourcing products from China for over 10 years, but this is a huge opportunity for us and demonstrates our flexible approach to international expansion through both traditional stores and digital channels.”