Less than one third of Mountain Designs stores to stay open as bricks-and-mortar footprint shrinks

Emma Koehn /

Customers of outdoor lifestyle retailer Mountain Designs are taking to Facebook to try to find out which of stores are still open, after the brand announced additional store closures last month that will mean two-thirds of its bricks-and-mortar network will shut this year.

At the start of January the company confirmed it planned to close 13 of its 39 stores, citing increased competition in the retail space.

However, two weeks later the company confirmed more store closures, with the Courier Mail revealing only 12 flagship stores will remain open across the store network — just one third of the number of Mountain Designs stores that were open in 2017.

In a statement, the company told the Courier Mail the decision is in line with current retail trends.

“Mountain Designs is adapting to changing pressures within the retail sector that are influencing customer buying practices,” the company said in a statement.

On Facebook, however, customers continue to ask the company for an up-to-date list of open stores in their areas.

The company confirmed to one shopper on Facebook that there are now only two stores currently operating in Victoria, in the Melbourne CBD and Richmond.

The down-sizing of the retailer’s store footprint has meant long-standing stores located out of big city centres have been earmarked for closure, including sites at Geelong, Bendigo, Katoomba and Wagga Wagga.

SmartCompany contacted Mountain Designs for an up-to-date list of closures but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Earlier in January, retail experts told SmartCompany that further instances of “right-sizing” of retail brands should be expected during 2018, with more local brands looking to online and third party distribution models in the face of challenging sales conditions. 

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is SmartCompany's senior journalist.

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  • Dave

    Surely one day soon the retail space (property) industry will wake up to the fact their gravy train of lucrative franchise and retail chain tenants are in decline, on the back of increasing internet sales. The property industry needs a serious overhaul, and a change of their own importance.

    • Jan Deane

      One would hope so, and one would also hope that the days of retail chains/franchises flooding the market with dozens of shops are also over.
      That said, it seems that every time a retails shop closes, a nail/beauty bar, massage business, barber shop or cafe/bar opens instead. That’s happening in my neck of the woods anyway!

  • Guest

    A simple search of Mountain Designs website prior to publication of this article would have revealed there are no shopfronts remaining (all remaining stores were closed at end of business Wednesday 7 February).

    • Foo

      Further to this, with up to 80% remaining stock from their online store gives the impression the company is winding up altogether.