Gordons advises B&M on 400 store openings

Wednesday 16th September 2015

Gordons has passed a milestone by advising rapidly-expanding leading variety retailer B&M on more than 400 store openings.

B&M opened 24 stores in the 12 weeks since its March 2015 year end. It plans to open 80 stores this current year.

Gordons’ partner Joanne Fearnley has been principal legal adviser to B&M on all property matters for over a decade. In addition to new retail stores she has also recently advised on the company’s new distribution warehouses in Runcorn and Middlewich.

As well as numerous individual new sites, B&M has expanded its market share quickly via multiple acquisitions from administrators. Joanne helped the company acquire 23 Woolworths sites within 48 hours, after that group hit problems in 2008, and 11 Focus outlets, following the DIY chain’s collapse in 2011.

Praising Gordons’ contribution, Simon Arora, B&M’s chief executive, said: “We’ve now employed Gordons in the opening of over 400 stores. They’ve shown time and again that they understand retail and our business in particular.

“Joanne instinctively grasps what is, and what isn’t, important to us. She is practical, efficient and able to think and act entrepreneurially for B&M. She is a crucial part of our success story.”

With so many sites acquired for B&M and other retailers it is likely that Joanne has more experience of site acquisitions for retailers of this size than any other lawyer in the UK. She can justly claim to possess an unrivalled understanding of market trends and expectations and what retailers want, need and can obtain.

Liverpool-based B&M, which was founded in 1978 and listed on the London Stock Exchange last year, sells a broad product range encompassing DIY, household goods, toys, clothing, food and toiletries. It offers products from major brands and its own label merchandise. The company employs over 20,000 staff and about 2.5 million customers shop at its stores each week.

B&M operates 450 stores across the UK and has a target of 850. It expects to open 80 net new sites in the current financial year and says it has a strong pipeline of new shops for the following 12 months.

Ms Fearnley said: “We take great pride in the fact that we have now assisted B&M with the opening of over 400 stores and hope our association will continue through many more milestones of this kind. It is not only an outstandingly successful business, but also a great client to work with and an excellent story to be part of.

“As one of the UK’s quickest-expanding retailers, B&M demands legal services that are delivered accurately and quickly. Our long-established relationship with the company shows we know how to satisfy these needs, as well as provide business-focused advice and negotiate highly acceptable terms.”