Go Outdoors owner seeks stay of execution

JD Sports has filed for court protection for its subsidiary Go Outdoors to keep creditors at bay as it mulls over what to do with the business.

Go Outdoors

The camping and hiking specialist’s owner said a 10-day moratorium would ensure that creditors cannot take legal action without permission of the court.

Go Outdoors employs around 2,400 people across the UK, selling waterproof clothing, tents and other camping equipment.

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It has suffered hugely during lockdown as all of its 67 stores were forced to close.

The business relies on its physical stores for most of its sales.

The news follows reports over the weekend that JD Sports was on the brink of plunging its struggling subsidiary into administration.

On Monday, JD Sports said it is yet to hire administrators to take on the business.

“The group can confirm that it has considered a number of strategic options for Go and that Go’s directors have lodged the notice in court,” bosses said in a statement.

“This notice creates an immediate moratorium around the company and its property, which lasts for 10 business days.

“During this moratorium, Go’s creditors cannot take legal action or continue with any existing legal proceedings against the company without the court’s permission.”

It added: “Administrators have not yet been appointed and the group will make no further comment at this time.”

Although Go Outdoors has faced serious challenges during the coronavirus crisis, some of its problems pre-dated the pandemic.

It faced teething troubles with a new plan on how to get goods into its stores.

In the past, brands would deliver their products straight to each individual store.

Bosses thought they could do better by opening a warehouse in Cheshire in February last year, but they were later forced to acknowledge that this hit the ability to replenish shops.

JD Sports bought the outfit for £112 million in 2016.