Blacks Leisure benefit from credit crunch as holidaymakers opt for camping
by Kay Murchie
Blacks Leisure, the outdoor equipment retailer, is benefiting from the credit crunch as holidaymakers are shunning Europe and opting for a cheaper alternative, such as camping.
According to the company, industry figures are showing camping holiday bookings are up 10% this summer and forward bookings for next year are up 20%.
As a result, holidaymakers are splashing out on quality outdoor equipment and the company has experienced an increase in sales of camping equipment. Like-for-like revenues have increased over 6% during the last 2 weeks.
This has helped offset the 5% fall in group sales over the previous 4 months.
However, the group’s Boardwear outlets, O’Neill, Freespirit and Mambo, saw sales down 15.5%. Freespirit is the company’s specialist surfwear retailer and has 30 UK stores.
However, chief executive Neil Gillis, said Boardwear sales go through to September, so an improvement could still be seen. The peak camping season is central to the group’s financial performance for the year, with July and August accounting for 20% of annual sales.
Blacks stocks brands such as North Face and Berghaus at its chain of Millets and Blacks stores in the UK.
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