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M and M Direct, the UK’s number one online discount fashion and sports retailer, celebrates 20 years providing big savings on the best brands this year. M and M Direct is providing daily offers to consumers and special deals to its mailing database to celebrate its 20th birthday.

Currently employing 470 staff, the M and M Direct story began in Herefordshire in early 1987 when Mark Ellis and Martin Churchward were introduced by their Nike representative Ken Mallender. The two founders started their careers with retail shops in Hereford and Stourbridge and joined forces to buy end-of-line clearance sports products.

The success of this led to the pair to venture into off-page advertising, with the first advert appearing in Shoot magazine in 1987. National press adverts followed in 1990, specifically offering clothing and footwear. The business flourished around Churchward’s shop in Stourbridge and soon outgrew the premises. As both men lived in the area, a site in Leominster was purchased, and the company was born. Trading as M and M Sports, the company soon began to grow, as ongoing word of mouth recommendations helped the business flourish.

“M and M Sports was one of the first strictly sporting mail order catalogues to cater to all needs, with goods at lower prices providing extra incentive to purchase,” says M and M Direct’s CEO Mike Tomkins. “That framework of the business still exists today, where the principal ethos of the business is to provide top quality clothing and accessories at a genuine discount.”

After a management buy-out in 2004, the company identity was changed to M and M Direct to reflect the company’s move into selling fashion and lifestyle brands. New senior managers were drafted in to develop expertise in each of the key areas of the business and a new emphasis placed on the development of the website, www.mandmdirect.com. The website, which displays the 100-plus fashion, outdoor and sport brand offerings, records more than 15 million visitors each year, with a growing 600,000 strong email database. In 2005 the majority of orders came via the telephone, but today up to 57 per cent of orders are received through the website.

“We’re glad we can offer our regular customers thanks for their loyalty to us over the past 20 years,” says Tomkins. “M and M Direct is constantly striving to grow and develop and we’ll see some great leaps for the company in 2007, with our website set to undergo some fantastic enhancements and innovations. We hope to consistently improve the service to our customers and provide a pleasurable online shopping experience every time.”

Brands stocked include Nike, adidas, Miss Sixty, Timberland, Rockport, Animal, Ugg, Peter Werth, K Swiss, Bench, Replay, Firetrap, and more than 100 other top names, with discounts of up to 75 per cent on RRP.

For further information on M and M Direct, including interview requests, please contact Duncan or Alina at Brandnation on 0207 940 7170 or email Duncan@brandnation.co.uk or Alina@brandnation.co.uk

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