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MandM Direct confirms plans for a stockmarket flotation

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MandM Direct today became the latest online retailer to confirm its plans for a stockmarket flotation.

The flotation follows hard on the heels of pureplays from to , which have already gone public this year.

Today MandM Direct chief executive Jonathon Brown, previously online director at John Lewis , said a listing would give it an opportunity to accelerate its growth. He said MandM Direct’s success to date lay on a strategy of deep discounts to consumers twinned with strong relationships with brand owners, all helping to build an active customer base of 1.3m households.

“We are well positioned to benefit from the trends towards online retail and have a clear strategy to develop our UK and to expand our European businesses,” said Brown. “This listing represents an exciting stage in our development.”

MandM Direct was founded in 1987 and today 94% of its revenues, which grew by 9% to total £118.9m in the year to February 23 2014, are made online – over devices from smartphones to tablets and PCs – in the UK and six other European markets. The remaining 6% are made over the telephone and by mail in the UK. Earnings grew by 21% to £10.5m in the full-year.

The retailer sells well-known brands from adidas and Converse to Diesel and Helly Hanson at discounts of up to 75%, providing a solution for brand owners who need to clear excess stock. The company also has nine own brands, including Duffs, Kangaroo Poo and Onfire.

The company, which launched three of its six international websites in the last six months, also delivers to a further 18 countries and now aims to enter new markets within the next two years.

Alan White, recently-retired chief executive of N Brown Group will chair MandM Direct’s board after the IPO. He said he was “delighted” to be involved with the business. “MandM Direct’s management team has built a leading online offprice retailer and is highly regarded by its suppliers, with exciting prospects for the future,” he said. “MandM Direct’s long-standing trading relationships with many international brands allow the company to offer outstanding discounts to customers.”

Other incoming non-executive directors include Marisa Cassoni, former finance director of the UK division of the Prudential Group, the Post Office and John Lewis, and Michael Ross, co-founder of eCommera and chief executive of between 1999 and 2006.

MandM Direct has not yet said how much money it plans to raise through the flotation.

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