Vendor Due Diligence

About the brand

Mountain Warehouse is a British outdoor retailer selling equipment for hiking, camping, skiing and cycling. Founded in 1997, it is the largest outdoor retailers in terms of UK store numbers, and delivers products to more than 100 international markets, which include Poland, Austria, Ireland, Germany and Canada.

The business has seen significant growth in its UK and international markets, growing from 1 store in 1997 to more than 220 stores in 2016 and achieving revenue of £141m.

Mountain Warehouse sells mainly own brand clothing, footwear and equipment. Brands include Mountain Life, Parallel and Snapdragon and a technical clothing range, Mountainlife Extreme.

About Mountain Warehouse
Challenges for Mountain Warehouse

The Challenge/Task

Pragma has supported the business numerous times, completing a number of commercial and vendor due diligence assignments for the company and its sponsors. Most recently, Pragma was commissioned by Mountain Warehouse as part of an evaluation process associated with the potential for external investment in the company.

What We Did

Undertook a comprehensive programme of consumer research, comprising a market survey, exit survey, competitor intercept interviews and focus groups. This programme provided sufficient depth of insight to gain a strong understanding of the overall outdoor market, and to test key hypotheses on the potential future performance of Mountain Warehouse

A review of the competitive context in which Mountain Warehouse operates, in flux due to the administration of a key competitor in 2012, and the risks and opportunities for the business in this context


A robust evaluation of the achievability of management’s business plan through management interviews, trading analysis and financial model review. Pragma also identified additional areas of opportunity for the business in the UK and in international markets

A detailed assessment of the historical, current and forecast performance of the outdoors retail market in the UK. Key areas of focus included market growth and evolution, key trends, the competitive landscape and changing consumer demographics and behaviour

We are scaling new heights, in our stores, online, and increasingly overseas. We have delivered another record-breaking year helped by the UK cycling craze. We have continued to thrive in a challenging UK retail environment, demonstrating that high-street retail can succeed so long as you have the right products at the right price.
May 2015

Mark Neale, Chief Executive
Mountain Warehouse Results

The Result

The Mountain Warehouse management team took full ownership of the business from LDC, with backing from RBS and Alcentra, in a deal valued at £85m.

You can read an interview with Mark Neale in our UK Outdoor Retail 2015 report


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