B & M

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For other uses, see B&M.
B&M European Retail Value
Société anonyme
Traded as LSEBME
Industry Retail
Founded 14 March 1978
Founder Malcolm Billington
Headquarters Liverpool, United Kingdom (operational)[1]
Luxembourg (registered)
Number of locations
Key people
Sir Terry Leahy (chairman)
Simon Arora (CEO)
Paul McDonald (CFO)
Products Grocery, variety
Revenue £1,646.8 million (2015)[3]
£132.9 million (2015)[3]
£39.9 million (2015)[3]
Number of employees
22,500 (2016)[4]
Website retail website corporate website

B&M European Retail Value S.A. (also known as B&M Bargains and the larger B&M Homestore) was formed in 1978 and is now one of the leading variety retailers in the United Kingdom, employing over 22,500 staff.[4] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

The retailer has been noted as being one of the fastest growing retailers in Britain, with encouraging revenue growth and a store increase of more than 2400% (25x) over an 8 year period up to 2016. Over 3 million customers each week shop at their high street and home store outlets, with 100 new lines being added every week.


B&M, Omagh (2008)
B&M, Keighley (2010)

The business was founded by Malcolm Billington as Billington & Mayman and the first store opened in Cleveleys, Lancashire, United Kingdom in 1978 and was acquired by Simon and Bobby Arora from Phildrew Investments in December 2004.[5]

In September 2006, the business saw significant growth, by acquiring the GlynWebb chain of Do It Yourself (DIY) stores, and converting them into the B&M Homestore format.[6] The company also acquired a number of former Kwik Save,[7][8] Woolworths[9] and Au-Naturale stores.[10]

The business moved into a new office and modern 620,000sq ft distribution centre based in Speke, Liverpool in 2010 and new operations, logistics and finance directors joined the business in 2011.[11]

In May 2011, B&M also purchased a number of Focus DIY stores.[12]

In December 2012, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, one of the world’s leading private equity funds, acquired a significant stake in B&M, and Sir Terry Leahy and Vindi Banga joined the Board of Directors.[13]

In March 2014, the business acquired a majority stake in German discount retailer JA Woll, and then opened a new 500,000 sq ft distribution centre in Speke, Liverpool.[11]

In November 2014, the business opened its 400th store (in Stockport).[14]


B&M's strategy for acquiring products requires for purchasing direct from factories or seeking overproduction and bulk-buy opportunities, which means the retailer may make less profit by selling these items cheaper than the competition, but makes up for it with the significant volumes being sold.[15] Up to 30% of their stock is sourced and purchased directly from China, though the retailer believes they can offset the higher import costs by increased sales volumes. Less than 10% of their products are sold for £1, giving them an advantage over single-priced competitors such as Poundland and Poundworld.[16]

Since September 2012, some stores have also been selling National Lottery goods.[17]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Store expansion[edit]

During the period 2008-2016, the retailer underwent a significant store expansion, increasing their outlets from 20 to over 500 throughout this period, with at least one new store opening every week as of 2016.[15]

The business operates 500 high street and out of town stores across the United Kingdom as of March 2016,[18] as well as 49 stores under the JA Woll and HAFU brands in Germany.[2]

Financial performance[edit]

In June 2014, the business was the subject of an initial public offering.[19] However, upon detailed analysis by the Columbia Business school, it was found the IPO of B&M was overhyped due to an already saturated market in the UK and the retailer failed to perform well in subsequent years.[20]

B&M Bargains has seen encouraging revenue growth over recent years, with a 23% increase in turnover throughout 2015 which made it one of the faster growing retailers in Britain.[15]

Year ending Turnover (£m) Profit
Gross (£m) Operating (£m) Pre-tax (£m) Net (£m)
26 March 2016[21] 1902.6 652.8 168.0 168.1 140.2
28 March 2015[21] 1526.2 525.5 151.1 151.0 131.9
29 March 2014
(65-week period)[21]
1509.1 512.7 123.5 135.4
31 December 2012[22] 935.2 318.7 88.1 88.3 66.3
31 December 2011[22] 712.6 239.2 52.0 51.7 38.0
31 December 2010[21] 538.3 160.8 35.4 35.2 25.3
31 December 2009[21] 426.7 122.3 34.0 33.8 24.6

Health and safety[edit]

The retailer was fined in March 2016 for a rodent infestation at their Speke depot which led to gnawed food being sold in its stores. When the depot was visited following the incident in January 2015, food safety officers discovered evidence of rodent urine and droppings in the distribution facility.[23]

Press and awards[edit]

In 2009, B&M won the KPMG Employee Growth Award amongst Fast Track Companies.[24]

Before being listed on the London Stock Exchange, B&M was featured repeatedly in The Sunday Times Fast Track as one of the 100 fastest growing private companies in the United Kingdom.[25]


  1. ^ "Arora brothers clean up thanks to B&M float". The Times. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Sengun, Tunc. "B&M's website About page". Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results for the 52 weeks to 28 March 2015" (PDF). B&M. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Sengun, Tunc. "B&M's website Careers page". Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List 2016: Sale bargain brother billionaires rank fourth in North West". Messenger. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Barry, Chris (5 September 2006). "GlynWebb Changes Hands Again". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M acquires Kwik-save stores". talkingretail.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Staff writer (15 October 2007). "B&M Bargains Buys Ex-Kwik Save Stores". Talking Retail. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M acquires Woolworth stores". retail-week.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M Acquires Au Naturale stores". retatail-week.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Liverpool discount retailer B&M Bargains to create 200 jobs with new 500,000sq ft warehouse in Speke". Liverpool Echo. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M acquires Focus stores". retail-week.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "Clayton Dubilier & Rice To Acquire Significant Stake in Leading UK Variety Retailer, B&M Retail". Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Why B&M could be the next big thing in British retailing". The Telegraph. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "Bargain store B&M has been quietly conquering Britain - and they want to be the new Woolies". Daily Mail. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "B&M bullish on store roll-outs despite sterling slump". The Telegraph. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M sells National Lottery goods". halfdiscount.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Bargain hunters fuel B&M growth". insider media. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "B&M Bargains boosts London's listing market". The Telegraph. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  20. ^ Wang, Sisy (10 October 2014). Graham and Doddsville (PDF) (Fall of 2014 ed.). Washington: Columbia Business School (GSB). pp. 22–23. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "B&M Retail - Companies House". Companies Hosuse. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "B&M Retail - Financial Statement 2012" (PDF). B&M Retail. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "Rodents in B&M Bargains' Speke depot led to customer buying gnawed Cadbury's chocolate bar". Liverpool Echo. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  24. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M wins Employee Growth Award". fasttrack.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  25. ^ Sengun, Tunc. "B&M The Sunday Times Fast Track". fasttrack.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 

External links[edit]