B&M

B&M: From Bargain Madness to a Retail Empire

B&M Stores, the UK's leading variety retailer, has become a household name, synonymous with value and quality. But behind the success of this retail giant lies a remarkable story of entrepreneurial spirit, resilience, and a deep-rooted passion for providing customers with the best possible shopping experience. The journey of B&M is inextricably linked to the vision and determination of its founders, Malcolm Billington and Brian Mayman.

The Early Years

Born in the bustling seaside town of Cleveleys, Lancashire, in 1940, Malcolm Billington was raised in a family with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. His father, a successful butcher, instilled in him a hard work ethic and a keen eye for business. From a young age, Malcolm demonstrated a knack for identifying market opportunities and seizing them with unwavering determination.

Brian Mayman, born in the same year as Malcolm, shared a similar entrepreneurial drive. His early experiences in the retail sector provided him with valuable insights into customer needs and the importance of providing excellent customer service.

The Birth of B&M

In 1978, Malcolm Billington and Brian Mayman joined forces to establish a discount retail store in Cleveleys. The store, initially named Billington & Mayman, was a bold venture in an era dominated by traditional department stores. However, Billington and Mayman's vision was clear: to provide customers with a wide range of quality products at unbeatable prices.

Malcolm Billington and Brian Mayman, founders of B&M

The store's name was soon simplified to B&M, an acronym that neatly captured the essence of their business philosophy – providing customers with a treasure trove of bargains. From the outset, B&M differentiated itself from its competitors by offering a diverse product range, from household essentials to homewares, toys, and seasonal items.

A Philosophy of Value and Customer Satisfaction

Billington and Mayman's unwavering commitment to value and customer satisfaction was the cornerstone of B&M's success. They believed that everyone, regardless of their budget, should have access to quality products at affordable prices. This customer-centric approach resonated deeply with shoppers, and B&M quickly gained a loyal following.

Expansion and Growth

As B&M's popularity soared, Billington and Mayman embarked on a strategic expansion plan, opening new stores across the UK. Their commitment to providing value and customer satisfaction remained unwavering, and their stores quickly became a popular destination for bargain hunters.

In 1996, B&M underwent a management buyout, and in 2004, the company was acquired by Simon and Bobby Arora. Under the Aroras' leadership, B&M continued to grow at an exponential rate, becoming one of the UK's leading retail chains.

A Legacy of Entrepreneurial Success

Today, B&M boasts over 600 stores across the UK and France, employing over 27,000 people. The company remains true to its founders' vision of providing exceptional value and customer satisfaction, making it a beloved retail destination for millions of shoppers.

The story of B&M is a testament to the power of entrepreneurial spirit, resilience, and a deep-rooted commitment to customer satisfaction. Malcolm Billington and Brian Mayman's legacy lives on in the thriving retail empire they created, providing customers with a treasure trove of bargains and a shopping experience that consistently exceeds expectations.

Back to blog

Stories for Startups.

Get Smarter Every Week - We Send You Cool Stories About People Making Money, and Tell You How They Did It.

Stop anytime.