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Thread: Go Outdoors to call in administrators

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    Senior Member chris@8th's Avatar
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    Go Outdoors to call in administrators

    Just seen this on the BBC website.
    I know not all of their stuff was perfect, but they did make camping accessible to all (and had decent parking!!).
    Hopefully someone will come in with a rescue package

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53127083
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Just seen this on the BBC website.
    I know not all of their stuff was perfect, but they did make camping accessible to all (and had decent parking!!).
    Hopefully someone will come in with a rescue package

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53127083
    Not sure why you're speaking about them in the past tense Chris? Of all the companies that have fallen into administration in recent times, Go Outdoors are probably one of the most likely to be rescued.

    Indeed its a little odd that they are struggling so much when the outdoor equipment industry has seen a surge in sales in recent weeks, and when their shops reopened (on the premise of being "bike shops" relatively early in lockdown. There's clearly some underlying issue here.

    It does explain why my Go Outdoors order (thankfully only a few small cheapish items) hasnt arrived yet!

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    Senior Member johnmcmahon's Avatar
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    The Government have made it difficult to take a foreign holiday (OK, they've relaxed a little with the corridors) so if you want to get away from home for a week it'll have to be in the UK. All the caravans & flats etc are filling so camping becomes the next option.

    People will clear Halfords stock in no time, then it's Go Outdoors. These'll be one-off purchases and we'll be swamped with second hand kit next spring when people realise they can go back to foreign climes.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnmcmahon View Post
    The Government have made it difficult to take a foreign holiday
    "The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel."

    Which means if you do go on holiday, you're probably going without insurance.
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    I would have thought Go Outdoors would be in rude health.

    I have a love hate relationship with the shop. I really don't like clothes shopping, so Go Outdoors is the place I tend to go. This is a strange calculation so bear with me. Going there limits me in terms of fashion (what ever that is), but they still have rack upon rack upon rack of it. So while I don't have to worry about 'style' - because it's all outdoor gear - I still have to worry about things like number of zips, whether trousers have been designed for people who don't know what leg day is, or people who don't need space in their trousers for an ****. (And no, I'm not a massively overweight man.)

    I digress however. I expect it'll be an operational thing. Maybe to do with cash reserves or something. It's probably simplistic, but they always seem busy when I'm in - although I imagine their margins are very narrow.

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    Had nothing but bad experiences from go outdoors, the last one being a store where they refused to replace refund or repair faulty goods, were the damage was noticed as soon as it was unpacked ace returned to the store the following weekend only to be told by a smug manager that their warranty doesn't cover tent poles even if they are supplied damaged

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    Looks like being a classic pre-pack job. Go into administration, unshackle from all the leases and debts, re-emerge keeping the brand, the market share and those stores where the landlords will take a rent cut, and that are profitable, and come out leaner and better able to survive. Expect some stores to go, but I suspect little else will noticeably change from a customer point of view.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    Looks like being a classic pre-pack job. Go into administration, unshackle from all the leases and debts, re-emerge keeping the brand, the market share and those stores where the landlords will take a rent cut, and that are profitable, and come out leaner and better able to survive. Expect some stores to go, but I suspect little else will noticeably change from a customer point of view.
    Agreed, this is almost certainly a "pre-pack".

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I would have thought Go Outdoors would be in rude health.

    I have a love hate relationship with the shop. I really don't like clothes shopping, so Go Outdoors is the place I tend to go. This is a strange calculation so bear with me. Going there limits me in terms of fashion (what ever that is), but they still have rack upon rack upon rack of it. So while I don't have to worry about 'style' - because it's all outdoor gear - I still have to worry about things like number of zips, whether trousers have been designed for people who don't know what leg day is, or people who don't need space in their trousers for an ****. (And no, I'm not a massively overweight man.)

    I digress however. I expect it'll be an operational thing. Maybe to do with cash reserves or something. It's probably simplistic, but they always seem busy when I'm in - although I imagine their margins are very narrow.
    Their owner (JD Sport) has put its brands (think Millets, Blacks) in and out of administration in the past. I can only assume its part of their business model.

    They may well have struggled though during early Lockdown. I imagine Go Outdoors will work on a business model along the lines of:

    Buy stock on 90 day invoice terms
    Sell stock within the 90 days
    Use the proceeds from selling the stock to pay the invoice


    If they werent able to sell their seasonal stock in early spring, they may well be struggling to meet some supplier invoices now.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    There are probably more issues with Go Outdoors than might be imagined.

    The company has, in many areas, a near monopoly on outdoor kit. It should be in a dominating position, but I suspect that its purchasing policy limits the ranges of specialist kit it can offer. There is, in hardware terms, the same or better available elsewhere, often cheaper.

    Clothing is better now than it was, but when you look at the likes of Globetrotters in Germany, and Go Outdoors in the UK, we are talking the difference between top end and Primark - We bought decent quality jackets at Go Outdoors last November, but looking at the stock in Globetrotters we were wearing second tier products. ( To be fair, Globetrotters have rationalised their hardware section).

    Staff knowledge of product is not always good, it never really has been - both my lads worked for Go Outdoors for a while and little has changed.

    The other big issue is that outdoors and camping equipment tends to be a one off purchase for most people. Repeat is infrequent. It doesn't matter if your boots get dirty, so long as they function. Whereas in the likes of Sports Direct or JD sports, fashion is the key and people buy new trainers etc.. on a fairly regular basis ( I don't but others do). The GO model is not the same as the LD/SD model - dial in the arrival of Decathlon, where price is king and there is almost a perfect storm for GO.

    GO has been in trouble before. There will be a phoenix move, I guess.
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    It's fair to say, the only reason I tolerate Go Outdoors, is because it's cheap. Other than that, I can take it or leave it.

    The shop they have in Edinburgh, is always far too warm, unpleasantly so. It sometimes reminds me of our jumble sale, and it's often filled with neds and people who are obviously going to go camping with a disposable bbq, which they'll burn the grass or picnic table with then leave for someone else to tidy up. I was once in the Edinburgh branch, and a young fellow was examining a very expensive GoreTex jacket when all of a sudden he bolted out the door with it and into a Vauxhall Astra which then bolted out the car park. (I once saw someone do that in the Coop in Tranent too - but it was with a basket of meat, but I digress.)

    I'd go to Tisos, but the shop staff always make me feel like a lumpish old man - they're all so windswept and interesting-looking. They can be a wee bit patronising with their advice. You feel like saying. "Many thanks for your help in this, but I've worn shoes before".

    I actually don't mind that the staff in Go Outdoors are often clueless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    There are probably more issues with Go Outdoors than might be imagined.

    The company has, in many areas, a near monopoly on outdoor kit. It should be in a dominating position, but I suspect that its purchasing policy limits the ranges of specialist kit it can offer. There is, in hardware terms, the same or better available elsewhere, often cheaper.

    Clothing is better now than it was, but when you look at the likes of Globetrotters in Germany, and Go Outdoors in the UK, we are talking the difference between top end and Primark - We bought decent quality jackets at Go Outdoors last November, but looking at the stock in Globetrotters we were wearing second tier products. ( To be fair, Globetrotters have rationalised their hardware section).
    To be fair Globetrotter (I have come across them years ago when I lived in Germany) are more like Cotswold, aiming for the premium end of the market (though a bit less "lifestyle" than Cotswold is at times), and indeed were at one point, and may still be, in the same ownership group.

    Go is more like Blacks and Millets in one with a bit of Decathlon and a bit of "local caravan dealer" on the side.

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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    I do use GoOutdoors, but always try to take advantage of their price promise, or discount for Scout Leaders.
    I tend to avoid Hi Gear brand unless it is for basics, but donít buy that much any more.
    I do enjoy having a wander around, though I fell it has diversified too much, with running, horse riding, cycling and angling taking up a bit of the store.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    I do use GoOutdoors, but always try to take advantage of their price promise, or discount for Scout Leaders.
    I tend to avoid Hi Gear brand unless it is for basics, but donít buy that much any more.
    I do enjoy having a wander around, though I fell it has diversified too much, with running, horse riding, cycling and angling taking up a bit of the store.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The thing with GO is it has a range of brand levels. Higear is great if you want cheap and cheerful. A waterproof to wear for gardening or around the fire that you don't mind ruining.

    A while back they were selling freedomtrail microfleeces for a silly price. Think it was 2 for £12... so I stocked up and pretty much live in them in spring and autumn.

    But if you want better brands they stock those too.

    Yes the staff are a bit clueless... but that's what sets the smaller stores apart from Go Outdoors and Decathlon so I'm not complaining.

    To me go outdoors is a bit like shopping online, but you can try stuff on and inspect it before buying. If I want advice and the 1:1 attention of a walking boot expert then I'll go to a small specialist store.

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    Senior Member chris@8th's Avatar
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    I was the much the same Shaun. I always preferred it without the fishing, horse riding stuff (but that was because I don't fish or ride). A mosey around the store was always a pleasant way to pass half an hour or so. I don't disagree with much of what has been said above - I was simply pointing out the story
    Chris

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