THE reasons behind MandM Direct, the Herefordshire fashion retailer, wanting its new head office at the Old Market Shopping Centre have been revealed.

The online retailer, which currently has its head office in Leominster and a warehouse in Moreton-on-Lugg, has said it wants to move into the upper floors of the old Debenhams shop.

Chairman Mike Tomkins said the firm was a major local success story and, if Herefordshire Council grants planning permission, the move would "support the next phase of the company's journey".

British Land has applied to make changes to the outside of the building, mainly adding a new entrance and windows, and to make vary a previous application as it wants to have 119 free parking spaces for MandM Direct staff.


With the unit empty since all Debenhams department stores shut in 2021, Hereford Business Improvement District was positive about the possibility of MandM Direct moving in.

Chief executive Mike Truelove said it could bring as many as 300 jobs to the city centre, with the ground floor of the unit staying for retail use.

British Land said there were a number of parties already interested in the space.

But as for the reason for MandM wanting to move its head office to the city centre, planning consultants said the current space was "no longer deemed fit for purpose".

The firm's head office is currently in a warehouse unit, and has been since 1990, but it is "of poor quality".


Consultants said that, in turn, makes it difficult to attract the high-skilled employees necessary for the company's continued operation.

"MandM have been searching for suitable office space in the region, considering options such as Malvern Tech Park and the Npower building on the M5, with Worcester and Gloucester also being potentially suitable locations.

"However, the decision to occupy the Old market would see the business retained in Herefordshire for the foreseeable future."

The planning documents also say that if planners grant permission, it would bring a boost to surrounding businesses in the city centre, with around 250 workers using shops, services and other facilities around their working day.