N Brown Group plc is a leading digital specialist fit fashion retailer, with over 140 years of experience.

We offer customers an extensive range of products in clothing, footwear and homewares. Our portfolio of trusted retail brands all serve a specific niche consumer group which we believe are poorly served by the fashion industry overall, such as plus-size and more mature customers. We are headquartered in Manchester and employ over 2,900 people across the UK.

N Brown Group plc Annual Report & Accounts 2016 cover

with Angela Spindler

We are on a transformational journey with Angela Spindler

We are in the middle of an amazing transformational journey.

Throughout the year we saw clear evidence of the benefits of the way in which we are transforming the business. We still have more work to do, but we're moving in the right direction, making significant changes across three key areas of our business which will ensure we become a leading digital retailer fit for an exciting future.

Angela Spindler, Chief Executive


Our Power Brands – JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, recorded £317.9m revenue, up 10.0% year on year. This was driven by further improvements to our product offering and innovative digital marketing campaigns.

Our digital metrics continue to be very strong. Online penetration stood at 65%, up 6ppts year on year, and online revenue was up 15%. 66% of our traffic came from mobile devices in FY16.

Our new warehouse is now complete – on time and on budget. This state of the art facility increases our next day availability, and will support our medium-term international ambitions.


866.2 (2015: £837.2m)


96.4 (2015: £95.8m)


88.3 (2015: £88.2m)


24.02 (2015: 24.61p)


14.23 (2015: £14.23p)


476.0 (2015: £450.0m)


Introducing new people

Investing in new talent whilst retaining our broad knowledge and experience to successfully transform key areas of our business.

Operating team

The past two years has seen an almost entirely new top team at N Brown. Our talented operating board are all digital natives, experts in their fields, and are enthused and excited about our journey.

Digitalised our people processes

We are a digital-first retailer, and this influences everything we do. So, this year, we moved our people processes online – from recruitment to recognition, development to keeping our colleagues up to date.

New in-house design team

Having previously relied on third parties, we’ve invested in an in-house team of designers, to ensure that we are always on-trend and providing our customers with clothes which fit, flatter and make them look and feel amazing.


Identifying a new process

Looking at new ways of working to match our digital-first approach and enable us to capture growth opportunities.

Digital-first marketing

Whilst paper-based marketing remains important for us, well over half our business now comes online – so this is our primary focus. Our digital marketing team are best in class, with capabilities including data analytics, personalisation and conversion optimisation.

Redefining our buying and merchandising processes

In order to ensure constant newness for our customers and give us far more trading flexibility in-season. We now operate as a truly online retailer, giving us far more agility and control.

Bangladesh sourcing office

We opened our first in-country sourcing office in Autumn 2015, allowing us to work far closer with our suppliers in the country, and reduce our reliance on costly third-party agencies.

Outsourced creative production

This has enabled us to operate as a digital-first retailer, photographing and uploading new products to our websites as soon as they come in using our new, dedicated photo studios. Catalogue production has also been modernised and made significantly more efficient.


Investing in new systems

More agility going forward, with Fit 4 the Future progressing well; early releases are now live and the main role-out begins later this year.

Global web platform

We are investing in a new core website transaction engine, fixing legacy issues which significantly slow our speed to market. This new system will allow us to trade with far more agility going forwards, and give us global ship anywhere capability.

Planning systems

We are significantly upgrading the systems used by our product teams, providing more enhanced data for merchandising decisions and improving our supply chain efficiency.

New financial services system

Modernising our credit proposition and allowing us to operate in a far more flexible, customer relevant way. We will be able to charge variable APRs and make lending decisions tailored to individual customers and products.

Our Strategy

Our Vision

To be the universally loved experts in fashion that fits.

Our mission

We'll do this by helping our customers look and feel amazing through our trusted family of fashion brands.


drivers of success


Fantastic quality and fit fashion, home ranges, and relevant financial services


Great prices and flexible ways to pay


Obsessed with customers, enriched with data and powered by technology


Whatever you want, wherever you are, whenever you want it, we make it easy


N Brown - Full Report PDF

Full Annual Report

N Brown - Transformational Progress PDF

Transformational progress

N Brown - Strategic report PDF

Strategic report

N Brown - Performance review PDF

Performance review

N Brown - Financial statements PDF

Financial statements