Discount chain B&M seen as 'rising star’ of retail

The British discount retailer B&M has been identified as a “rising star” of the retail industry by a key survey that considers the future challengers to Tesco and other leading players.

Today, the company has £1bn of sales, 290 stores and 2m customers a week. Photo: Alamy
By Graham Ruddick10:44PM BST 26 Oct 20122 Comments
Kantar Retail said B&M was one of 15 up-and-coming retailers in Europe, alongside Aldi, Amazon, cash-and-carry group Booker, Ocado and Waitrose.
The report said the retailers were succeeding thanks to their “differentiation”, strong private labels, efficiency and smaller store formats.

B&M was launched in 1976 by Malcolm Billington, a Blackpool-based entrepreneur. Its fortunes have been transformed since Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora bought the company in 2005 when it was still loss-making and had fewer than 20 stores, which were struggling. Today, the company has £1bn of sales, 290 stores and 2m customers a week.
The Aroras are opening stores at a rate of one every week, snapping up sites from failed competitors, such as ­Woolworths and Focus. B&M is now one of the fastest-growing retailers in the UK and the Aroras are poised to cash in on the growth of the company, hiring ­Rothschild to explore the sale of a ­significant stake in the business. There has been interest in B&M from private equity firms and a deal could lead to the company being valued at about £850m
Bryan Roberts, Kantar Retail’s director of retail insights, said: “To stay out in front, many retailers will need to spread their offer across different channels.
“For the majority, multi-channel retailing and offering different touch points to the shopper will be the future.
“That said, the fact that many rising stars operate purely through stores speaks volumes – retailing needn’t be multi-channel, it sometimes just needs to be differentiated, efficient and value-driven.”
Bryan Gildenberg at Kantar added: “Value is a key driver to the success of the rising stars but this does not necessarily mean ‘cheap’.”


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