- This article is about the British clothing retail chain. For the French Department Store, Le Bon Marché. For the former chain of American department stores, see The Bon Marché.
|Founded||Wakefield, England (1982)|
|Number of locations||240|
|Area served||United Kingdom|
|Parent||Sun European Partners|
Bonmarché (pronounced bon-mar-SHAY) is a clothing retailer based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. The business was founded in 1982 and was acquired by the Peacock Group in 2002. The clothing retailer has over 380 stores nationwide, employs over 4,000 people and is the UK's largest budget fashion retailer selling womenswear in a wide range of sizes – especially plus size clothing. Ranges include casual and formal separates, outerwear, swimwear, lingerie nightwear and accessories, all designed for larger women. In March 2011, it was reported that Peacocks were looking to sell Bonmarche, and in early 2012 the business was sold for an undisclosed sum to private equity group Sun European Partners.
Bonmarché was founded in 1982 by Parkash Singh Chima. The Sikh businessman arrived in the UK in 1950 from the Punjab and settled in Ely, Cambridgeshire, from where he launched his door-to-door sales of clothing items that were in demand after the Second World War.[when?]
The family bought two retail clothing firms in 1982 – Wiltex and Hartley – which had twenty six indoor market locations across the north of England. Mr Chima moved to Huddersfield and ran the business with two of his sons Gurchait and Gurnaik.
The first Bonmarché store opened in Doncaster in 1985 and this was the start of the chain that grew into more than 300 stores, a huge headquarters at Grange Moor and a turnover of more than £200m. Mr Chima retired and left two sons to run the business, before they sold to the Peacock Group in 2002.
In 2007, Bonmarché launched a collection designed in collaboration with David Emanuel, the designer famous for the co-design of Lady Diana Spencer's wedding dress in 1981. This collection has a slightly higher price point than the main Bonmarché range but is still regarded as value for money.
- The Telegraph – Peacocks considers Bonmarché sale (20 March 2011)
- BBC News – Bonmarche chain bought by private equity firm (23 January 2012)
- Huddersfield Examiner – Bonmarché founder Parkash Singh Chima dies at Sikh leisure centre (16 February 2010)
- Sikhs Online – Bonmarché founder dies at 86 among Sikh friends (18 February 2010)
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