Outdoor pursuit’s retailer Blacks Leisure has experienced a much needed peak in trade.
The parent company of the Blacks and Millets chains saw a growth of 10.2 per cent in like-for-like sales during December’s cold snap. Stores were reportedly selling 20 pairs of gloves and 10 winter coats every minute throughout the month as shoppers fended off the Arctic conditions.
Whist the rush on winter warmers was a welcome site for the struggling group it still ended the last six month period on a loss of 0.1 per cent. The total was bolstered considerably by December’s earnings.
Blacks was saved from administration in 2009 after making a deal with its creditors and embarking on a comprehensive turnaround programme.
Neil Gillis, chief executive of the organisation believes that the Christmas boost highlights the strength of the service they can offer in a challenging market. On January 4th Blacks’ shares were up 5 per cent and Gillis is confident about the future of the brand as they enter the New Year in a more positive financial position.
Since 2009 Blacks Leisure have been involved in talks with third parties who are interested in buying part or all of the business. Today however, Gillis has warned that if no firm and exciting bids are made to the shareholders soon it is likely they will close the door to further offers.
The organisation is not afraid to turn down deals it feels are unsuitable. They turned down advances made by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct in March, rejecting a £39 million proposition Blacks claimed was wholly inadequate.