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27th September 2018
Happy 95th Birthday to us!

Celebrate our birthday with discounts in all stores & online but first, here's a little history lesson!

This week we celebrate our 95th Birthday! Unbelievably, Menarys has been trading since 1923, although we weren’t always known by this name…

Read on to see how we grew from one independent store in 1923 to a chain of 18 in 2018; Menarys is only getting better with age!

 

1923                       It all began when Mr Joseph Alexander opened his first store in Dungannon. Alexanders was largely a menswear store and was located in the same building that Menarys occupies today. Joseph Alexander is actually the great grand uncle of our two current Managing Directors, Stephen and Philip McCammon. 

1959                      It wasn’t until Stephen and Philip’s Father, Brian McCammon, joined Alexanders that ladies fashions were introduced into the store. Brian had previously been working in Alexanders in Cookstown which was owned by his grandfather (brother of Joseph Alexander) and sons Norman & Stanley.

1979                      Wanting to create more jobs for the staff he had trained up, Brian decided to open a second store and in July 1979 he acquired Menary Brothers in Lisburn. Later that year the company suffered a terrible blow as the building burned down. Never one to be deterred, Brian McCammon rebuilt the store to six times its original size, created more jobs for more Lisburn locals and the business prospered. 

1985                      It wasn’t until 1985 that ‘Alexanders’ became ‘Menarys’. After acquiring Menary Brothers Limited in Lisburn in 1979, Alexanders also procured Glasgows Department Store in Newtownards. Now, there was a decision to be made; what would we call it? Brian took to the streets of Newtownards and asked the public in Lisburn who had heard of Menarys and those in Dungannon who had heard of Alexanders. The majority knew of Menarys and that is how our name came to be!

1989                      This year signified an important turning point for Menarys; the year Brian embarked on major growth for the first time.  In 1989 Menarys opened stores in Newry, Coleraine and Omagh, as well as a centralised distribution centre and head office. What an exciting time! It was at this point that Brian was joined by his two sons to help run the family business.

1992                      Talking of family, in 1992 Menarys merged with William Alexander Limited, a brother of Joseph Alexander, and Dennis and Ronald Alexander joined the Menarys Board. The merger meant that stores in Bangor, Portadown and Cookstown were added to the Menarys family.

1998                      In 1998, Menarys developed our amazing flagship store in Bangor. This was a much more expansive department store than any of the Menarys stores before it and included new partnerships with more brands, an extensive cookshop department, cosmetic hall and a restaurant. Everything our customers wanted under one roof!

2000                      The new millennium brought with it Menarys first sister brand, Tempest. Launched in Bangor, Tempest provided a strong high street offering for our younger customers with brands such as Topshop, Oasis and Miss Selfridge making up its portfolio.

2002                      Menarys in Bangor was nominated and voted the Drapers Independent Department Store of the Year for the UK. The Drapers Independent Awards ‘reward those businesses that are changing the landscape of fashion.’ What an achievement!

2003                      2003 saw us opening a new department store in Bow Street Mall, Lisburn. The distribution facility and head office were also relocated to Moygashel, allowing us to keep up with the ongoing expansion of Menarys and Tempest.

2003-2005           During these busy years, two standalone Tempest stores wereopened in Omagh and Cookstown with even more young fashion brands to choose from. Menarys’ sister brand was really starting to grow!

2004                      In 2004 Larne’s existing Menarys store on the main street closed and relocated to our bigger and better store at Laharna Retail Park. This relocation created many more new jobs in Larne and allowed the store to host an even better range of brands for its loyal customers.

2005-2008           Between 2005 and 2008, Menarys opened new stores or relocated to retail parks in Strabane, Letterkenny, Rushmere and Carrick-on-Shannon. These stores were much more departmental; moving away from the smaller store model of mostly women’s fashions. This new style opened up opportunity for a much wider range of brands and products to join the Menarys family and allowing us to further improve our customer’s shopping experience.

2010                      RewardMe, our customer loyalty scheme, was launched! From humble beginnings Menarys now has more than 200,000 RewardMe cardholders. RewardMe provides multiple benefits to the customer including collecting 2 points for every £1 spent in store, £5 credit to spend in store with every 500 points collected and exclusive RewardMe offers.

2016                      Menarys Online Wedding Gift List Service was launched so all those soon-to-be married couples can choose the perfect gifts to ensure they get the best start to their newly-wed life!

2017                      Menarys.com was launched, shipping customer favourites across the world! With excellent brands including Gerry Weber, Sloggi, Benefit Cosmetics and Yankee Candles, shopping from the comfort of your own home has never been easier!

2018                      Today Menarys has 17 stores open across the North and South of Ireland with number 18 opening in Enniskillen this Autumn. We strive to become a part of the local communities we are situated in and our customers as well as our staff are all part of our growing Menarys family. There are more 360 Menarys and Tempest staff members, with almost 20% of those having been a part of our team for 15 years or more! Our core value has, and always will be, delivering top customer service; it is as important today as it was in 1923.

Call into any store or online this weekend for 20% off across Selected Stock and look out for our special £19.23 offers!