The UK high street’s market leader for outdoorwear
With the importance of physical activity being heavily promoted for our health and well-being, the participation in outdoor activities in the UK has seen an increase in recent years. In response to that, the UK high street has seen an increase in the presence of retailers who specifically cater for this growing market. The following looks at the four market leaders in this sector, all occupying their own specific retailing niche in this sector, and in turn all claiming to offer their customers something a little bit different.
New to the scene is Mountain Warehouse, whose stores started appearing on the high street in 1997. They boldly claim to stock everything you need for your outdoor activity at the best prices. They do this by offering their own exclusive products, which they claim is the same quality as other stores but comes in at cheaper prices. With over 240 stores globally, they have a large presence on the high street. In the UK they have increased their customer base by purposely locating in areas that are popular and well-served by walkers and holidaymakers.
The oldest retailer associated with the outdoors is Millets. Evidently proud of their roots, they can trace their origins back to their first store opening in the late 1800s. Currently trading with 97 stores nationwide, Millets is very well-known, and whilst not offering products covering the full-range of outdoor interests as some of its competitors do, they are proud to claim to be the destination for camping and outdoor adventure gear on the high street.
Appearing with their first store in 1974, Cotswold Outdoors claims to offer it’s customers the most extensive range of outdoor equipment and clothing from all leading brands. They are keen to promote the abilities of their store staff, claiming all are experienced in outdoor activities and extensively trained which enables them to provide expert advice to their customers. They have a strong presence with 69 stores nationwide.
Go Outdoors Claims to be the “Aladdin’s Cave” of the outdoor equipment retail world. They claim what makes them unique is their ability to offer their customers the best choices no matter who they are and what activity they do. Motivated to offer value, unique products and innovation, they state their motivation is to get people into the outdoors. With their 55th UK store opening in 2016, they continue to expand their stake in the outdoor activity market.
In addition to the stores who exclusively cater for the outdoor activity customer, the majority of the main high street stores have now also introduced their own ranges of outdoor products. The choice on the high street is extensive and varied, and the UK outdoor activity customer really is spoilt for choice when it comes to getting kitted out for their hobby.