Our History

1905

Freemans Founded

The offices consisted of two rooms in a terraced house in Lavender Sweep, London employing 12 staff. Catalogues had around 200 pages and goods were illustrated using black and white drawings.

1912

Grattan Founded

Grattan founded by John Fattorini, selling mainly jewellery. When the business began to flourish, he started to sell through catalogues to increase the customer base.

1943

War Shortages

In 1943 war shortages meant that no household items were available, only clothing. Coupon rates were introduced as a way to pay for Freemans clothes.

1950

Freemans Growth

Freemans had expanded rapidly with the post-war boom, with over 7000 parcels a day being dispatched, many paid for on credit. Freemans was by now competing with the leading department stores of the day, selling a wide range of consumer goods in its full colour catalogue of over 1000 pages.

1963

Grattan and Freemans develop

The Grattan main office was built at Anchor House, on Ingleby Road in Bradford.

Freemans became a public company and the following year installed its first computer.

1969

Freemans Supply Chain Grows

Freemans opened an automated distribution centre at Peterborough, the largest warehouse in Europe at the time. They then became the first company to post goods in plastic packaging.

1979

More Innovation at Freemans

Freemans became the first home shopping company in the UK to introduce a telephone ordering service for its agents.

1986

Grattan Acquired

Grattan was bought by Next plc for £300 Million.

1988

Freemans Acquired

Freemans was acquired by Sears plc and became one of the country’s largest retail organisations.

1991

Enter Otto

In the 1990s Grattan was the UK’s fourth largest mail order firm. However following a postal strike and the recession of the early 1990s, its parent company Next desperately needed to refinance and put Grattan on the market.

In 1991 Otto Versand outbid Sears plc to acquire Grattan.

1997

Freemans Goes Digital

Freemans launched its shopping website www.freemans.com

1999

OTTO Acquires Freemans

Otto Versand paid around £150 million to acquire Freemans from Sears plc.

2000

FGH is born

The administration divisions of the Otto Group’s two British subsidiaries, Freemans and Grattan, were joined under the umbrella brand OTTO UK in 2000. Otto UK is re-branded to Freemans Grattan Holdings.

2011

Curvissa Launched

Curvissa is launched, providing style for women sized 14-32 with the simple aim to help our customers feel good every day.

2012

Swimwear365

Swimwear365 is launched, offering the UK’s largest online swimwear range and holiday fashion essentials for all the family.

2013

More brands launched!

Clearance 365 is launched, providing discounts on many fabulous fashion, accessory, footwear and home brands all year round.

Look Again is re-launched, packed with inspiration for a fashionable wardrobe and home.

2015

Lascana Launched

Lascana is launched – the ultimate destination for sensual lingerie, nightwear and shapewear.

2016

Gifts365 Launched

Gifts365 is launched, offering a fantastic range of inspired, stylish and unique gifts for all occasions – all year round.

2016

Apps Launched

Apps launched for Look Again, bonprix, Kaleidoscope and WITT, providing new ways for our customers to shop on the move.