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People are only just learning what B&M means — and it’s not what you think

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Shoppers are stunned by the true meaning of B&M. (Picture: John Keeble/Getty Images)

B&M has become a must-visit for bargain hunters wanting to spruce up their home, or nab one of their favourite products for less.

But how much thought have you really given to the name of the bargain store? If you’re anything like us, probably not too much.

So you’ll likely also be stunned to learn what the letters actually stand for and it turns out it’s not ‘Bargains & More’ as many people often assume.

When the company was founded back in 1978, it was originally called Billington & Mayman, named after its founders, Malcolm Billington and Brian Mayman. 

The first store opened in Cleveleys town centre, four miles north of Blackpool, and Malcom remained as the company director until 1996.

The name was later shortened to B&M and in 2004 it was taken over by brothers Simon and Bobby Arora. When they bought it there were just 21 stores nationwide, but there are now over a whopping 650 shops across the UK.

Many shoppers are only just learning about the history of the store and it’s iconic name, thanks to a viral TikTok by @ryankenttt. 

In the clip, he shares the meaning behind the names of a number of popular British shops, including B&Q, H&M and HMV.

Ryan captioned the video writing: ‘I acc never knew most of these until now.’ 

And he wasn’t the only one, as hundreds of people flocked to the comments to share their thoughts, with many confessing they too were only just learning what B&M stood for.

@utterlybuqs said: ‘I thought B&M was Bargains & More.’ And they weren’t the only one, @alisha_278 wrote: ‘B&M IS BARGAINS AND MORE. WHAT.’



The surprising meaning behind well-known brand names

B&M isn’t the only brand with a unique name with an unexpected history.

German brand Adidas has a a syllabic abbreviation, but uses the first name and surname of the creator Adolf Dassler.

In terms of supermarkets, Tesco, which is the UK’s biggest supermarket, was named after Jack Cohen founded the business in 1924.

The name comes from a combination of a combination of Cohen’s surname (CO) and Thomas Edward Stockwell’s initials (TES). Cohen bought a shipment of tea from Stockwell and made lables which combined their names.

Asda was founded in 1949 by brothers Peter and Fred Asquith, the sons of butchers based in West Yorkshire. The name the supermarket chain originally had was Associated Dairies and Farm Stores Ltd.

It was eventually shortened to Asda by combining the first two letters of the family’s surname (AS) and the first two letters from Dairies (DA).

When Josef Schwarz created the German retail chain Lidl in 1932, he didn’t want to use his own name, so decided to buy the rights to use the name of a painter and retired schoolteacher named Ludwig Lidl.

The Aldi name comes from the first two letters from the surname of the two brothers that founded the store (Karl and Theo Albrecht) and the German word for discount (Diskont). From 1962, the brand was officially called Albrecht-Diskont, which was then shortened to the syllabic abbreviation Aldi. 

A few people who said they worked at B&M also got involved, claiming it was definitely Bargains and More, which didn’t help the confusion, while some also suggested it meant Bargains and Madness.

And it’s not surprising that people are baffled, as even the former CEO Simon Arora, previously confessed he didn’t know what the name actually meant.

Aldi’s name was also once very different. (Picture: Getty Images)

In an interview with the McKinsey Alumni Center, he revealed: ‘Someone once told me that it was obvious – it stands for “Bargains and More”. That’s good enough for me.’

However, a B&M spokesperson has since settled the debate once and for all, confirming to Metro.co.uk that the letters do actually stand for ‘Billington & Mayman’.

So, there you have it folks!

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