Go Outdoors on its bike

A surge in demand for mountain bikes has led Britain’s biggest outdoor retailer to invest £10m in expanding its store network. Go Outdoors will add an extra 250,000 sq ft of retail space before the end of the year, including three new megastores and cycling concessions within most of its 53 existing shops.

The retailer, which is run by former Dixons executive Chris Matthews, will create more than 2,000 jobs, although many of them will be temporary roles in the peak summer season.

Go Outdoors was established in Sheffield in 1998 through a management buyout by John Graham and Paul Caplan, who still own half of the company. The rest is split between private equity investors including 3i and YFM. Last year, the chain posted pre-tax profits of £3.1m on sales of £181.4m. The expansion comes as Go Outdoors is rumoured to be planning a stock market listing later this year. Rival chain Mountain Warehouse has hired Rothschild for its own float, which would value the company at about £200m.