Launched in 1972 from an Essex bedroom as an electronics mail-order catalogue, this Barnsley-based firm now runs 156 shops in Britain. It opened 14 new outlets in the first seven months of 2008 and says it has plans for a total of 250. Its website reportedly attracts up to 190,000 visitors a day, offering items ranging from satellite dishes and hard disks to remote-control toy helicopters and gaming console joysticks. It is owned by its management and Montagu Private Equity, which backed a £244m secondary buyout in 2004. Sales reached £179.8m in 2007.
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