Latest News

Latest news from Blue Max Banner.

  • June 2018 - Banner acquisition of F.R. Monkhouse

Banner has recently announced the acquisition of F.R. Monkhouse, a leading Independent Schoolwear Retailer based in the North West.

Completed on 6th June 2018 and funded by growth capital investors MML Capital Partners, the acquisition represents a key step in Banner’s strategy to be the market leader in the supply of both uniform and sportswear to the Schoolwear industry.

The acquisition reinforces Banner’s continued commitment to supporting the fundamental role that strong independent Retailers play in offering flexible and convenient ways for schools and parents to purchase school uniform and sportswear in a rapidly changing market.

Glenn Leech, Banner’s CEO commented. “Banner is committed to providing outstanding service to all our Retailers and this acquisition will give us valuable insights into how we can further improve our offer. We remain dedicated to raising standards across the industry and building even closer relationships with our retail partners. F.R. Monkhouse Ltd is one of the largest independent Retailers in the UK with a strong and highly respected leadership team and we look forward to working with them”.

F.R. Monkhouse’s Managing Director, Peter Monkhouse said “we are of course delighted to join the Banner Group and the future opportunities this acquisition will bring to enable us meet our customers’ ever changing needs while continuing to deliver outstanding service all year round and help to drive the industry forward”.

Following the acquisition, F.R. Monkhouse Ltd will continue to operate as normal with the same structure and team in place and there are no changes to Banner’s operations.

  • July 2016 - BMB extends offering with acquisition of SWI 

BMB, one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of schoolwear and sportswear, has recently announced the acquisition of SWI Schoolwear.

Completed on 1 July 2016, and funded by growth capital investors MML Capital Partners and Barclays Bank, the acquisition will see BMBs dependable, consistent high-service standards coupled with SWI’s strengths in design, product development and marketing to drive the market forward in line with school, parent and student requirements.

With SWI renowned for its strong sportswear portfolio designed collaboratively with athletes and students, it will enable BMB to further extend its reach into the sportswear market. In addition, SWI currently generates approximately 30% of its product sales through retail partnerships, further strengthening BMB’s strategy to grow its offering in this space.

Nigel Plenderleith, BMB’s Chief Executive commented: “The market continues to change and we need to ensure that we adapt and move the business forward through product innovation. To achieve this it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the needs of the end user along with a multi-channel reach.

“Combining our extensive experience and product portfolio with SWI’s design, product development and marketing capabilities will provide us with enhanced opportunities as part of an enlarged group, enabling us to provide the entire market with high quality clothing on a much larger scale.

“We are excited at the prospect of joining learnings and best practice from both businesses with customer insight and research, to take the company forward.”

Kirk Robertson, founder of SWI, said: “We are very pleased to join BMB and look forward to working with Nigel and his team to drive the industry forward. We believe this is a perfect fit, bringing together leadership, expertise and complementary capabilities to meet the market’s ever changing requirements and deliver outstanding service.”

Following the acquisition, SWI will join BMB and its entire product range will become part of the Group’s portfolio.  


    Blue Max Banner (BMB) has made its first acquisition since the MBO took place six months ago.
    The acquisition, completed today (Tuesday 5th January), is Orion Teamwear, a high performance, bespoke sportswear business. 
    BMB already has an established relationship with Orion, as it offers  a stock-supported  range of professional sportswear garments through its  brochure.
    This acquisition will enable BMB to offer an exciting new sportswear option in the form of ‘Teamwear Kit Design,  in either cut and sewn or sublimated products.    
    Nigel Plenderleith, BMB’s Chief Executive comments on the new addition: ‘Orion is a well-established brand not just in the schoolwear market but at a professional level too and comes with a strong customer base.  Being able to offer sublimation, teamwear and stock supported product gives Blue Max Banner the ability to compete with the sportswear specialists. Exciting new product developments will be added to the stock-supported range and the colour options will be increased.  Our focus will be to keep the creativity associated with the Orion brand and to add our excellent service and delivery capabilities in Trowbridge to  bring delivery times and customer service levels to those we currently achieve across the rest of our business.’
    Mike Williams transfers with the business as Orion Brand Manager.   Richard Metcalfe, the original founder of Orion Teamwear and Mark Whiteley will concentrate on their other business interests.

  • July  2015 - Blue Max Banner Management Buyout


The shareholders of schoolwear specialist, Blue Max Group Ltd today announced the sale of the business.
The buyout, led by the Blue Max Group’s Managing Director, Nigel Plenderleith has been backed by growth capital investor,
MMLCapital Partners. Price was undisclosed.
Nigel Plenderleith, who will continue in his role as Managing Director under the new ownership, comments: ‘MML was our preferred investment partner because they promised long term commitment and investment in the business. The MML team are also flexible in their approach and will allow us to get on with the job – so it’s very much business as usual from this morning.’
Luke Jones from MML said: ‘We invest in businesses as a partner alongside management and allow them to take the next step on their journey by investing in strategic opportunities that add value to the business. The Blue Max Group is a successful well run business and we are delighted to be part of its future in an expanding schoolwear market.’
Blue Max was founded by Mary Fawcus in 1987 has been majority owned by the Fawcus family since its inception. Mary Fawcus, and her husband and former CEO David Fawcus, will be retiring from the business, and their daughter Fenella will also be leaving to pursue other interests.
David Fawcus commented: ‘Blue Max has been an incredible journey. We feel that allowing the management to take the business forward is the correct thing to do. We have been closely involved in the process to ensure that there is adequate investment to maintain our core principles. We wish Nigel every success with the business and we are delighted to be able to hand over the reins to him’
The new Senior Management Team and Board of Directors will be announced presently. 
Further information about MML available from
  • June 2014 - Blue Max Banner joins The Schoolwear Association's campaign

Click here to sign the HM Government e-petition


  • May 2014 - BMB Employee Helps Lift Romanian Children out of Poverty and Achieve Their Goals 

A 12 year old from Romania may achieve his goal to become the Lionel Messi of the Balkans, thanks to one of our employees.

Laura Quintrell, our Sales Office Supervisor has just returned from a trip to Romania to meet the child she has sponsored through local charity People against Poverty (PaP) for the very first time.
Laura’s sponsorship has enabled 12 year old Fernando to receive an education. The money she donates not only covers the costs of Fernando’s school books and stationery, but it also ensures a nourishing meal on the table every day for the whole family, providing much needed fuel for Fernando on the football pitch!
Laura and her family started to sponsor Fernando earlier this year. The relationship so far has been through letters but the trip to Iasi brought the two together for the first time. Having discovered through correspondence that Fernando dreams of being a world-class footballer, she took Blue Max Banner clothing for the whole family, including a full football strip for Fernando.
Laura, commented on the sponsorship: ‘I recognise what an incredibly privileged life we lead here in the UK. Having undertaken this trip to the Iasi area, I’m just amazed to see how just a small donation which I barely notice going out of my account each month is making such a world of difference to Fernando and his family.’
Val Huxley, chief executive officer of People against Poverty (PaP), commented: “We are delighted that Laura was able to join us on our awareness trip and appreciate Blue Max Banner’s support in giving her the time to participate. It is always a special moment when sponsors come face-to-face with their children and spend time getting to know them. For the children involved, sponsorship helps to provide food, clothing and education, and knowing there is someone out there who cares about their welfare has great impact on their outlook and prospects for the future.” See Photograph

    Our systems will be down for routine maintenance and upgrade of our Warehouse Management System. This will mean that no orders can be placed after 12 pm on the 7th of February for the rest of the day. The maintenance will continue through the weekend and we anticipate that ordering can re-start as normal on Monday morning.
  • 15th January 2014 - Blank brochures are now in stock and ready for order

    This is an easy way for you, the customer, to send to your customers details of the BMB products without our brand name mentioned. Put your own sticker label on the outside and get handing out! To order, call our Sales office on 0845 2300 888 or 01225 715070 and mention code 3ZX UNBRANDED 2014.
  • 22nd July 2013 - What's in a Uniform?

    If, like us, you’re counting down the days until the end of term, wishing away those last few school uniform washing loads and already dreading the labelling, shoe shopping and ordering of new PE kit for September then take a moment and consider just what the humble school uniform has done for our children... Continue Reading
  • 3rd July 2013 - Independent Factory Audit

    We are pleased to announce that one of our factories in Bangladesh has successfully undergone an independent audit carried out recently by one of the leading international testing and compliance houses.

    The scope of the audit included testing for compliance with local law on matters concerning employment law, health & safety, business and ethical practices and environmental issues. With only a few minor non-compliance issues and many examples of good practice, we are delighted with the outcome and one which provides further evidence of our commitment that our suppliers follow best practices, in accordance with our ethical and trading standards policy.

    Senior management at the factory cooperated fully with the audit team and were swift to redress non-compliance issues.

    Further details on our Ethical Policy can be found on our Ethical Trading statement.

  • 11th June 2013 - Telephone System Fixed

    The technical issues at our Seaham office have now been resolved. Once again we apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience

    Blue Max Banner Web Team
  • 10th June 2013 - Telephone System Problems

    We are experiencing technical difficulties with the telephone system at our MTO office in Seaham. Until further notice, please call our main switchboard on 0845 23 00 888 or 01225 715070 and press 1, 1 for our main sales line.

    We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience whilst we rectify the issue.

    Blue Max Banner Web Team

  • 4th June 2013 - Online ordering has now been enabled for all our Export/Non UK Mainland customers
  • 3rd June 2013 - Outlet Brochure Now Here

    For great savings on Leisurewear, Schoolwear, Workwear & Sportswear, our outlet brochure is available - please call us on 0845 23 00 888 or email us at to receive a PDF copy.
  • 23rd April 2013 - Online ordering has now been enabled for all our Channel Island customers.
  • 4th March 2013 - Viscount Blazer now available in Long Fit and Odd Sizes

    We are please to announce that by popular demand we have increased the fits for our Viscount Blazer range to include Long fits and Odd sizing.
  • 23rd January 2013 - Pricing issue resolved

    Yesterday's pricing issue was resolved late yesterday afternoon - please call us on 0845 23 00 888 if you have any further problems.

    Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

    -- Blue Max Banner Web Team
  • 22nd January 2013 - Pricing issue on website affecting a small number of customers

    A technical error with the website is causing higher prices to be applied to basket contents for a small number of users of this website. Please ensure you double check the prices being applied before you make payment.

    If you are affected by this issue, please place your orders by phone today. Note that the £50 free carriage web offer will be honoured if you state you were trying to place your order on the website.

    We anticipate that the bug will be fixed by the end of today - 22nd January 2013.

    Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

    -- Blue Max Banner Web Team
  • 18th January 2013 - Adverse Weather Conditions affecting Blue Max Banner deliveries

    Due to weather disruptions, our carrier DPD have advised that they will not be delivering or collecting orders today.

    All dispatches will be back to normal on Monday 21st January 2013.

    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team
  • 16th January 2013 - Helping mums solve the sock pairing puzzle

    New for 2013. Socks that help solve the nightmare of matching pairs and tights that are easy to identify. Socks are marked with sizes on the outside and tights with ages.

    Our new Trainer Liner also includes the days of the week,with a sad face on Monday ending in a happy one on Friday.

    For further information please see our Hosiery Flier (PDF, 925KB)

    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team
  • 5th December 2012 - Christmas 2012 Close Down Period

    We will be closed for Christmas from 21/12 and will re-open on 2/1.

    The last date for Order Dispatch is 19th December.


    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team

  • 3rd December 2012 - Back-to-School (BTS) 2013 offer extended!

    We have extended this year's Back-to-School promotion for a further two weeks - qualifying orders placed before 28th March 2013 will now enjoy extended payment terms.

    For further information please see our BTS flyer (PDF, 3.6MB) or our Back to School page.

    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team

  • 27th November 2012 - Phone system upgrade tomorrow (Wed 28/11/12)

    Please note that tomorrow BT are carrying out some essential maintenance as part of our telephone system upgrade.

    This will mean that our main switchboard number 01225 715070 will be out of action for a period of time whilst the works is taking place.

    Our 0845 2300 888 phone number will remain unaffected and can be used for the duration of the works, alternatively you may wish to use our temporary number 01225 781155.

    All telephone systems will be back online by the end of the working day, ready for normal use from Thursday 29th November 2012.

    Blue Max Banner ICT Team

  • 15th October 2012 - Back-to-School (BTS) 2013 Forward Orders now being taken.

    Today we are at the Schoolwear Show launching our offering for the 2013 season.

    Please see our Back-To-School flyer (PDF) below which gives details of this year's BTS offer - including our delivery date pledge which is new this year.

    BTS Flyer Cover - front and back pages only (1-page PDF, 0.6MB)
    BTS Flyer - Full (4-page PDF, 2.2MB)

    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team

  • 24th September 2012 - Snowgoose Brands now part of our collection.

    We are pleased to announce that you can now order Snowgoose Reversible Jacket and Polar Fleece from Blue Max Banner.

    Please follow this link to read the letter sent to our customers today regarding this.

    Blue Max Banner Marketing Team

  • 18th September 2012 - Technical hitch resolved

    We are pleased to advise that the stock levels problem has now been resolved: the website is now showing accurate in stock/out-of-stock messages again.

    Many thanks for your patience.

    Blue Max Banner Web Team

  • 17th September 2012 - Technical hitch with stock levels - update

    We are still working on the technical problem which is causing a number of products to appear out of stock.  We hope to have this resolved by the end of the day but it is now possible this will extend into tomorrow.

    Despite this, the website will still accept your orders and, if we have the stock, we will be able to despatch the goods to you as normal.

    In the meantime, if you have any queries about specific stock levels, please call our Customer Services department on 0845 23 00 888

    Many thanks and apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you,

    Blue Max Banner Web Team

  • 17th September 2012 - Technical hitch with stock levels on this site

    Currently our website is displaying many of our product lines as being out of stock ("stock due in soon").  This is incorrect information and we'll be issuing a fix to the technical problem later today.

    In the meantime, please continue to place orders online as normal and, if you have any queries about specific stock levels, please call our Customer Services department on 0845 23 00 888

    Many thanks

    Blue Max Banner Web Team

  • 15th August 2012 - Embroidery Orders No Longer Being Taken





  • 30th July 2012 - Snowgoose

    Blue Max Banner confirms that it has agreed to buy the trademarks and business of the Snowgoose brand from Rowlinson Knitwear with effect from 20 September, 2012 . Until 20 September, Rowlinson will meet all orders from their existing customers, and will transfer their residual stocks to Blue Max Banner on that date.