Belfast Telegraph

Arctic blast reveals a silver lining for outdoor specialist

Leading outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure, said the recent arctic weather conditions just before the Christmas holidays had boosted its turnaround plans as consumers snapped up jackets, scarves and hats.

The unusually cold snap helped increase like-for-like sales in its outdoor business by 10.2% in the key trading period of December, despite a strong set of comparative figures for the previous year.

The company, which owns the Blacks and Millets brands, said the December performance lifted overall group like-for-like sales for the half-year to the end of December to a decline of just 0.1%.

It is in talks with parties interested in buying all or parts of the business, but has insisted it will return to profit if a merger fails to go through.

As part of its turnaround plans, the retailer has closed many of its loss-making stores, revamped 12 stores and plans to open another outlet next month.