Go Outdoors

The UK’s biggest chain of outdoor clothing and equipment stores

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Retail & brands



Deal type

Growth Capital & Management Buyout

Investment size

Undisclosed - 37.2x return

Investment date(s)

1998 & 2002 - 2017



"I would like to personally thank YFM, for their active involvement, strategic advice and continued support which, in partnership with our exiting founders John Graham and Paul Caplan has helped to grow GO Outdoors into the UK’s largest outdoor retailer."

Chris Matthews, CEO of GO Outdoors

The business

  • A retailer of clothing and equipment for all outdoor activities including camping, fishing, hiking and cycling
  • Began as a single store in Sheffield with the ambition to grow into a chain

The strategy

  • Back the vision of a serial entrepreneur to prove the store concept and roll out across the UK
  • Develop a range of own brand merchandise to sell alongside established brands
  • Invest in upgrading the website to drive online sales

The developments

  • Grew the number of stores from one to 55+, becoming the market leader in outdoor clothing and equipment
  • Increased turnover from £2m to £200m+ and grew employee numbers from 33 to 2,000+
  • Fully realised via a £130m sale to JD Sports Fashion plc, achieving a 37.2x return on the original investment
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