JD Williams is one of the UK's leading home shopping companies, with almost 4.5m active customers in 2018. Until recently, the company tended to specialise in the mature market, leaving younger fashion to rivals such as Shop Direct. However, since the mid-2000s, it too has moved aggressively into the 30-45 age market, signing up celebrities to design or endorse signature clothing lines. At the same time the group has refined its portfolio of more than 40 separate mail order brands to focus its main efforts on just three online labels: JD Williams, plus-size Simply Be and Jacamo menswear. Together, these three for more than half of retail sales. Apparel is sold direct via the group's own sites, and increasingly also through multi-label sites such as ASOS and Zalando. Other online brands include Fashion World, Figleaves, Marisota and High & Mighty. Several more brands are still sold by mail order catalogue. JD Williams operates mainly in the UK but is beginning to establish a presence in the US. It was originally established in 1859 by Manchester stallholder James Williams, but the Williams family's interests were acquired in the 1960s by ragtrade entrepreneurs David and Nigel Alliance, still the controlling shareholders in publicly quoted parent N Brown Group. Despite the challenging market, revenues for the year to Mar 2018 hit a record high of £922m. Financial services - mainly payments by installment - accounted for almost 30% of revenues. Angela Spindler is chief executive. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 15th August 2018
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