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Go Outdoors sets its sights on leading the online market for outdoor equipment

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Go Outdoors has appointed an ecommerce veteran to head its multichannel services as it sets out to become the online market leader for outdoor equipment in the UK and beyond.

Jon Asbury will become the retailer’s first multichannel director, and joins after 14 years at Halfords. There he introduced the UK’s first non-clothing retailer mobile website. In his new role he will be responsible for delivering the retailer’s multichannel strategy.

“This appointment represents a significant message of intent to the outdoor retail sector,” said Go Outdoors chief operating officer Lee Bagnall. “We expect to expand and lead online outdoor sales both in the UK and internationally. To achieve this we needed an experienced director to bring additional retail insight and a proven track record of achievement in online sales. With those criteria in mind, Jon Asbury was a standout candidate in every respect.”

GO Outdoors is currently reporting steady growth at a time that has proved difficult for outdoor retailers such as Blacks and Millets, whose parent company Blacks Leisure Group went into administration in January. Its 290 stores were subsequently bought by JD Sports. In contrast, Go Outdoors reported sales of £115.2m in 2011, of which around 10% are made online. It predicts that its total online sales will double annually.

Jon Asbury, incoming multichannel director at Go Outdoors, said: “Go Outdoors is an exciting young company with a real passion and enthusiasm for all things outdoors. They have already made a significant impact in online sales. I hope I can bring additional online experience to complement the undeniable energy and drive already present in the boardroom.

“Joining a dynamic company growing at such a massive rate offered me a compelling professional proposition. It’s a challenge I can’t wait to get my teeth into.”

Go Outdoors chairman Colin Holmes added: “Go Outdoors is committed to being the best outdoor retailer to shop in store, at home or even whilst outdoors.”

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