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Menkind Acquires Competitor Gadgets Retailer

August 2015

Future plans include increasing store portfolio and international expansion.

Menkind, the UK’s leading multi-channel niche gifts and gadgets retailer, has announced it has acquired RED5, the Hull-based consumer gadgets brand.
As part of the acquisition, Menkind intends to retain RED5’s existing stores, warehouse and offices, plus its 220 staff. The original founders Jonathan Elvidge and Joth Baron will remain actively involved in the business during the transition period, as consultants to the management team.

At the end of the 2015 financial year, RED5 reported an 18% sales growth, a turnover of £18 million and pre-tax net profits of £1.3 million.The acquisition will see RED5 and Menkind both continuing to operate as separate brands, with Menkind leading in the niche gifting space, and RED5 continuing to focus on gadgets. RED5 was founded in 2005 by Elvidge, the original creator of the Gadget Shop, and Baron, as the ‘ultimate gadget shop’ with its first store opening in Hull. It currently has nine permanent UK stores and four concessions in Hamleys and Selfridges, in addition to a number of pop-up stores, and also sells product via its website and via wholesale to stores including Boots, Argos and John Lewis.

Paul Kraftman, chief executive and founder at Menkind, said: “We are delighted to have acquired RED5, which has huge credentials within the gadgets arena, and until now was a main competitor of ours. Both Menkind and RED5 have distinctly different propositions and customer bases, which each brand owns within its section of the market. Whilst RED5 tend to attract younger buyers, Menkind’s wider gifting range appeals to the more mature customer. We feel this acquisition is key to the continued growth of Menkind, and anticipate it helping us to increase our market share and accelerate our expansion. Our vision is to be the brand leaders in our niche markets, increase our store portfolios in the UK and expand internationally. We feel, with the acquisition of RED5, we can confidently achieve this with both brands.”

Jonathan Elvidge, founding director at RED5, said: “We are thrilled that Menkind has acquired RED5 - it was previously a competitor that we have had tremendous respect for, and we are delighted to come together in this move. We feel this acquisition will help to cement the future success of the RED5 business, and that both companies will benefit from additional support, resource, sector experience and expertise as a result.”

Menkind is a one-stop shop for boys toys, gadgets and gifts for men of all ages.

It employs 450 staff, of which 30 are based in the company’s central head office, and has 40 stores across the UK, plus 20 seasonal pop-up stores planned for this Christmas season, and also sells via The business was featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league of the fastest growing private companies in the UK for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011, and in 2015 reported sales growth of 30% and a turnover of £35 million and a net profit before tax of £3.2 million.

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M:Tech's Micro Drone release

May 2015

The Micro Drone was released on the 20th May 2015 with much excitment from the team at Menkind. This little drone is capable of indoor and outdoor flight despite only measuring in at 4cm on all sides. With fantatic omni-control functionality and the ability to perform mid-air flips there are high hopes for this little piece of tech.

The M:Tech Micro Drone is now abailable for purchase online and in-stores. To read more about this product click here.

Stormtroopers march into Sunderland

Sept 2014

THE Force had to be strong with these youngsters as Imperial troops closed in.

Stormtroopers from film series Star Wars flew into gadget shop Menkind, in the Bridges, as part of a fund-raising appeal.Those wearing the costumes are part of the 99th Garrison, a group who enjoy dressing up as characters from the George Lucas-inspired films.The appeal is in aid of children’s charity Dreamflight, which takes boys and girls with serious illnesses or disability, without their parents, on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.

Store manager at Menkind, Simon Foster, said: “The 99th Garrison do a lot of good work raising money for charity and it’s been great to get them along.“I’m not sure exactly how much we’ve raised yet but the collection pots were full to the brim, so it should be a lot.“Loads of people, kids and grown-ups got their photos taken with them and it was a fantastic atmosphere.”

One giant high street leap for Menkind

Aug 2013

Menkind is a store that seems to be the product of the collective imagination of every schoolboy in the land who never quite grew up. In other words, pretty much every one of us.

Founded over a decade ago to tap into men’s neverending search for shiny new gadgetry to spend their hard-earned crust on, the firm now has a permanentstore in Leeds as part of the Trinity complex, having previously operated as a pop-up store at the White Rose Centre. Inside it’s a veritable Aladdin’s cave for men who like nothing better than indulging their inner kid. Shelves heave with everything from retro ZX Spectrum computers and night vision headsets to novelty lighters and zombie gnomes. “I bought one of those for my father-in-law as a Christmas present actually,” notes Mark Fitzsimmons, who’s the Leeds store manager. “The only problem is he refuses to put it in the garden.”

Mark says the best thing about working in a shop solely dedicated to making men happy is seeing the looks on his customers’ faces when they walk through the doors. “When couples come in the guy will have a bit of a sparkle in his eyes but the woman will have a look on her face that’s a lot like the one men have when they’re being dragged into a shoe shop. I never get tired of seeing that – although hopefully they’ll both be smiling by the time they leave.”

Entrepreneur Takes Business World by Eight!

Sept 2012

A South London boy has stunned the business world by becoming a successful entrepreneur... at the age of EIGHT.
When he was just seven, Miro McCarthy decided to take and frame arty photographs of his father's old toy cars and sell them to raise money for his own iPad.
And less than a year later, Miro's idea has captured the imagination of the nation and his Dad's Old Cars range is now stocked in East Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Honor Oak, Beckenham and has even been picked up by leading gift retailer, MenKind (

Menkind seek "real men athletes" in The Menkind Games

July 2012

Menkind stores nationwide will be putting the average man to the test in a series of fun challenges this summer as they search nationwide for the UK's "real men athletes" in The Menkind Games.

Inspired by the Olympics 2012, The Menkind Games is a kind of anti-Olympics which will be held on 3rd Aug to 5th Aug 2012. Aimed at finding the most talented men (and women!) who have “real men” abilities, such as playing fast and frantic air hockey or driving a remote controlled stunt car. All stores across the UK will be competing and there will be lots of fun, special offers and prizes over the weekend.

Paul Kraftman, CEO at Menkind, said: “The Menkind Games are aimed at the average, everyday man who probably has skills not recognised by the traditional sporting associations! However, we feel there is a true athlete waiting to come out in everyone – you just need to find the right activity to show it off - be it in our fun Slam Dunk Challenge or driving one of our RC stunt cars.”

Anyone can enter any of the fun challenges with a minimum donation of £1 to Everyman, an appeal run by The Institute of Cancer Research to raise money for research into prostate and testicular cancers.

“Having met with the team at Everyman, Menkind recognised that research into these cancers was severely underfunded.” Paul added, “We want to do our best to help them raise the funds needed to educate men about these cancers and the dangers of not checking for symptoms.”

Menkind is the number one stop for men’s gifts and gadgets, allowing you to find the perfect gift for the man who has everything all under one roof from “Del Boy&rquo; dressing gowns to self-stirring mugs.

Do your local "Team" proud and show everyone what you're made of. There are currently 22 flagship stores nationwide which are open 7 days a week in Westfield London, Stratford London, Bluewater, Lakeside, Bromley, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Somerset, Eastbourne, Glasgow, Leicester, Livingston, Nottingham, Norwich, Reading, Peterborough, Uxbridge, Southampton and Wakefield.

See Menkind’s Facebook Page and Twitter Feed for The Menkind Games build-up #MenkindGames.

The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table

December 2010

Menkind ranked 79th in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table! The Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain's 100 private companies with the fastest growing sales over the latest three years.

Menkind is a multi channel retail business offering a wide and interesting choice of men’s gifts through a number of stores across the UK and website

The year ending March 2010 has been Menkind’s most successful to date and was a period of considerable growth for the company both in terms of turnover and profitability during what, for many, has been a difficult market. This has been achieved due to the strength of the proposition and the flexible operating model which allows Menkind to manage and align costs effectively with market conditions.

The current economic climate has created great opportunities as well as challenges providing Menkind with the opportunity to expand their permanent store base from six stores to twenty, including openings in key major cities such as Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham. Menkind’s sales have increased 52% a year, from an annualised £3.9m in 2007 to £13.7m in 2010, ranking them 79th in the Fast Track 100 league table published on 5th December 2010 in The Sunday Times.

RBS Backs Menkind Stores Ltd with Government Scheme

September 2009

London – The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has recently supported men’s gift and accessories company, Menkind Stores with a funding package to assist with the purchase of five new retail units. The funding package included £987k from the Government-backed Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Scheme.

Menkind Stores was established in 2001 by Paul Kraftman who had recognised a gap in the retail market for stores specialising in gifts for men. Paul’s aim was to provide a one-stop-shop for men’s gifts with products extending beyond the usual gadgets and boys toys to include men’s branded accessories such as wallets and cufflinks, and a broad spectrum of products to cover a wide array of men’s interests.

Paul turned to his Relationship Manager at RBS, Robert Laurie to discuss the additional funding principally needed to open five new retail units in Aberdeen, Cardiff, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester, to fund the refurbishment of the flagship store in Lakeside Shopping centre, and to redevelop the website. The funding package provided included funds from the EFG Scheme.

RBS and NatWest are fully supportive of working with the Government on new lending opportunities. To date they have led the field in taking applications for the EFG Scheme, with over £228 million worth of loans already agreed or in the pipeline. They have also confirmed receipt of £250 million European Investment Bank funding, currently being passed on to customers as part of their commitment to make £3bn extra lending via 12 regionally managed funds of £250m.

Paul Kraftman, Managing Director, Menkind Stores said:
“I am pleased to confirm that we have continued to grow our business and our profitability in what for many has been a difficult market. We believe this has been achieved due to the strength of our proposition and our flexible operating model which allows us to manage and align costs so effectively with the seasonality of our market."

“Our new store openings last year performed well having been fitted out to a new concept which has proven to be a great success in driving sales of more high value products. The current economic climate has created challenges, yet also great opportunities to affordably open new retail outlets, and as a result of the funding we are now able to accelerate the expansion of our permanent store portfolio. We’re thankful to Robert and the team at RBS for arranging the finance package we needed.”

Robert Laurie, Relationship Manager at RBS, added:
“Menkind Stores are successful retailers in a niche market and in response to the current climate, their affordable range is particularly profitable. We were happy to arrange the funding for Paul and the EFG Scheme proved a perfect fit to the business’ needs. We wish Paul all the best as he continues to grow the business and makes the most of the growing demand for the products Menkind offers."

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