Online discount fashion retailer M and M Direct has revamped its offer to take advantage of the surge in bargain hunters created by the credit crunch.

The e-tailer relaunched its online operation this week “to better showcase its growing product offering”. The move is part of initiatives instigated by its owner, TA Associates, as it nears one year of ownership.

The site has improved its search and navigation tools and each page has upped the number of products it showcases, with clearer images. It offers about 3,000 products at present and this figure will increase to 5,000 in time for Christmas.

“We have worked hard to produce a site that is more usable, less cluttered and yet still very M and M Direct,” said M and M Direct chief executive Steve Robinson.

“We have tested it with customers and the feedback is extremely positive. There are more improvements to be made and we will be rolling these out over time, taking our customers’ input into consideration.”

Sales of M and M Direct’s discount offer have been driven by the credit crunch, which has encouraged many consumers to search for bargains. The e-tailer also said that unsettled weather continues to drive online shopping.

TA Associates bought M and M Direct in October from ECI Partners for about£90 million. Robinson was drafted in to lead the operation, joining from Tesco Direct.

Robinson has ambitious plans to expand the business into a retailer with a turnover of£200 million and is on track to hit£100 million this year.
He said: “It is obvious that conditions are tough in the market and we would never assume we are immune to a slowdown in spending. That said, we are trading well so far this year as customers search out ways to make their money go further.”

In the year to February, sales at M and M Direct rose 20 per cent year on year to£74 million.