Spotlight B&M European Value: The UK’s Essential RetailerJune 25, 2021
With 600 stores in the UK, B&M European Value is a leading British retailer of discount goods, including groceries and general merchandise. It’s this company’s unique business model which differentiates B&M and keeps it growing consistently. By focusing on stocking a limited assortment of only the most popular products within each category, B&M maintains a constant stream of new items every week, giving customers new reasons to keep returning to its stores again and again. The limited assortment strategy also keeps stores agile and able to respond quickly to customer trends. To execute on it, B&M taps long-running firm-specific knowledge including direct sourcing, tight discipline on maintaining a low-cost base and keeping operations simple, all of which allows B&M to pass on savings to customers.
Founded in 1978 by Malcom Billington under the name Billington & Mayman, over the last five years, the B&M Group acquired Babou discount stores in France and Heron Foods Group, a frozen chilled food convenience store chain in the UK.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the country, the UK government classified B&M as an essential retailer and stores remained open. The retailer generated a stir among locked-in Britons by restocking a nostalgic chocolate treat that had recently been discontinued in the UK, the Cadbury Dream bar. “PSA: This is reality,” the company announced on Twitter.
In addition to donating £1 million to UK foodbanks, the retailer communicated with the public throughout the pandemic with frequent updates. “Our colleagues are working tirelessly to make sure you can get all of the items you need. So there’s no need to panic buy—our warehouses are full and we are working super hard to keep stock flowing into stores.”
As of 3/31/21, B&M European Value was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.