While the coronavirus lockdown has arguably had a positive impact on our local wildlife, it has not been so good for the wider outdoor industry, especially in the outdoor gear retail space.
Go Outdoors, the UK’s largest outdoor and camping equipment chain is the latest casualty, with the owners announcing that they are preparing to call in administrators.
Citing the coronavirus lockdown as the principal reason for pushing the high street retailer to breaking point, JD Sports said it had looked at the options for Go Outdoors and had decided to start the administration process.
The Go Outdoors chain employs around 2,400 staff across 67 stores throughout the UK, selling a wide range of outdoor and camping gear—from waterproof jackets, rucksacks and tents, to climbing harnesses and ski pants.
The Manchester-based JD Sports group bought Go Outdoors in 2016 for £112m. But the chain has been struggling in recent years, and forced store closures under the coronavirus lockdown has just exacerbated these problems.
However, there is hope for the thousands of employed staff at the business. No administrators have been appointed yet, and the company has been given a lifeline in the form of more time to consider what to do with the business.
In a statement, JD Sports said that it had filed for court protection, allowing for a 10-day moratorium window in which creditors cannot take legal action without permission of the court.
Moving forward a number of options are on the table, including restructuring of the business and requests made for rent cuts or “holidays” for its stores.
Featured image: Go Outdoors