CUT-PRICE cabinets, low-cost loo roll and stationery steals have made B&M Bargains worth twice as much as high street giant Marks & Spencer.
The big-savings brand is now in the FTSE 100 list of the most valuable firms on the London Stock Exchange, having overtaken ITV.
The budget store has become a £4billion business, attracting up to six million shoppers a week — including thrifty celebrities such as internet cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch and TV’s Stacey Solomon.
Dubbed “the new Woolworths” — partly due to a similar pick’n’mix stand — it is now the UK’s second-largest retail park occupier after B&Q.
A spokesman claimed that growth is purely down to word of mouth, as the chain rarely invests in TV adverts. He said: “We consider our selling prices are in effect our advertising budget, as they create a buzz.”
Its rotating system of stock brings in 100 new lines each week while another 100 drop out. Daily deals mean that some products cost as little as 10p, while brands such as Dulux and Morphy Richards pop up, too.
B&M was able to remain open during lockdown — it sells many items deemed essentials.
Fans formed massive queues to get their hands on sell-out items — notably including the £199 hanging egg chair and Lazy-Spa hot tub, of which tens of thousands sold this summer alone.
So how do you navigate the aisles that have it all?
Here we uncover the store’s best-kept shopping secrets — and throw a brief history of B&M into the bargain.
DAILY DELIVERIES: B&M says its stores get new deliveries every day.
This ensures fresh lines are constantly being stocked and you can also get your hands on items that have previously sold out.
Just be sure to get there early so you are near the front of the line . . .
GET APPY: Keep up to date with product launches, promotions and other news by downloading the app.
Savvy shoppers can get even bigger discounts than those on the shop floor by using the barcode scanner.
Although it is time-consuming to scan products, you can find lower prices than those on the shelf. So if you have the time, it is well worth a try.
SOURCE SUPERSTORES: Not every store sells the entire range. You might spot a bargain on B&M’s Facebook page or its newsletter that nearest store does not stock.
It is best to phone up to check. If in doubt, head to one of the biggest stores, as they have more choice. These often have an outdoor garden section too, with access to larger bargains.
BRANDED BUYS: It is not just B&M’s own items you will find in store. Some well-known brands are there too, at surprisingly purse-friendly prices.
From Biscoff and Graham & Brown to Vera Wang and Adidas, it is worth checking B&M’s aisles before paying full price at another retailer.
Wallpaper has emerged as a big hit at B&M, thanks to its branded options.
DESIGNER DUPES: Keep your eyes peeled for high-end “copies” on the shelves. There are countless products that mimic those sold by other leading retailers.
Fans went wild last year for a Jo Malone-lookalike scented candle — and it is still available for as little as £3.99.
B&M: The history
FOUNDED in 1978 by Malcom Billington as Billington and Mayman, the first store opened in Cleveleys, Lancs.
But struggling alongside 20 bargain shops in the Blackpool area , it was bought out in December 2004 by brothers Simon and Bobby Arora.
In 2006, they added the GlynWebb chain of DIY stores and a number of former Kwik Save, Woolworths and Au Naturale shops. It now has 670 stores and is listed on the London Stock Exchange
Insiders say that when a new branch opens, it typically gets 12,000 shoppers through the doors in the first week.
The reason for all the fuss? The company lives up to its slogan of “big brands, big savings”. Those household brands include Dove, Colgate, Tefal and Lego.
But instead of selling them at usual high-street rates, it offloads items for as little as possible . . . and puts on further offers to entice shoppers.
SPOT THE BASKET: Dotted round the store are product baskets that are not to be missed.
Inside you will find a collection of random products with discounted labels — and often these are where the biggest deals of all are found.
Like Aldi’s Specialbuys, B&M also offers similar limited-edition promotions that change each week. They usually fly off the shelves, so be quick or you will miss out.
PICK YOUR DAY: You can save even more money by going on specific days of the week. For example, on Tuesdays there are discounts on food, drink and pet gear and cleaning products.
Wednesdays have the biggest sales while Saturdays see old stock and clearance items moved on.
Get the dupes of expensive brands, isuch as electric toothbrush heads. Four heads might cost you £2.99 here rather than £10-plus for the Oral B versions.
QUIET TIME: The quietest shopping time is between 3pm and 6pm, so if you want to avoid competition for those one-off items, this is the time to go.
Buy there and then, as the chances are the item will not be available next time. But bear in mind that larger items of furniture and certain electricals cannot be returned.
BEST BUYS: You can get cleaning products such as Viakal for £2, whereas it is around £4 in other stores.
You can also find Disney clothing items cheaper than you are likely to elsewhere.
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