In the spotlight: Web boost for N Brown

Accountant duo chief executive James Martin and FD Tim Kowalski last year launched to provide high street retailers with an e-fulfilment service – internet jargon for providing a range of online services.

Martin this May announced that Zendor had secured contracts with four high street names and was set to win more blue-chip contracts.

Martin said: ‘We will be providing a complete service to allow these companies to get into the distance shopping market of catalogues, internet and interactive television.’

Martin and Kowalski have since been in talks with Marks & Spencer, the UK’s biggest store group, to handle its home shopping business and are believed to be on the verge of clinching a lucrative deal.

Rumours that Brown’s had signed the deal fuelled a sharp share price hike at the beginning of last month by more than 10% by 29.5p to 319.5p.

The group last year saw turnover grow 9.4% to £354.7m and 10% in adjusted group profit before tax to £47.6m.

The group markets household, electrical goods and clothing from a portfolio of more than 15 catalogues, which include JD Williams, Shoe Tailer and Fifty Plus.

As well as targeting a core market of middle-aged and older women and men, it’s moving into the 30-something market with its Simply Be and Fashion World titles.

Martin, 57, who was formerly chief executive of Unilever and Dunlop, joined the company in 1973 and held a number of senior positions before he was made chief executive in 1984.

Fellow chartered accountant and KPMG-trainee Kowalski, 41, was appointed last year from the pub and grub division of Greenalls Group where he was FD for eight years after working at Harvey Nichols, Grand Metropolitan and Burtons.

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