Retail

Troubled outdoor retailer Mountain Designs bought by Spotlight Group

Emma Koehn /

The owner of outdoor adventure brand Anaconda has purchased troubled retailer Mountain Designs, just weeks after Mountain Designs revealed it was moving to an online-only model.

In a statement on Monday, Spotlight Group Holdings, which owns the Spotlight craft brand and Anaconda, announced it had acquired the retailer for an undisclosed sum.

Spotlight managing director Avi Gilboa said the company is excited by the purchase, and could “assure enthusiasts that the [Mountain Designs] brand will continue to support them in mastering their adventures”.

Mountain Designs has quietly closed stores since the start of the year, first announcing it would shrink its store footprint by a third, before announcing an additional round of closures. 

Fans of the brand have taken to Facebook over the past month to ask for confirmation about the future of the stores, and whether any would stay open.

 

Several asked whether the company had collapsed or would stop trading for good, but at the start of March, Mountain Designs informed shoppers it had not collapsed, but was transitioning out of bricks-and-mortar stores and into an online-only model.

The business was founded by climber Rick White in Brisbane in 1975, and says on its website it has remained Australian owned and operated for more than 40 years. The company has been owned up until now by Brisbane’s Nunn family.

Spotlight Group said in a statement the purchase means the “legacy” of the brand will continue after the purchase. SmartCompany understands the company will be making announcements in the coming weeks about whether bricks-and-mortar stores will be revived after the acquisition is completed.

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is a former senior SmartCompany journalist.

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