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Successor Iceland
Founded 1968
Defunct 1989
Headquarters Stanmore, London,
United Kingdom
Products Groceries

Bejam was a British frozen food retailer, which was founded by John Apthorp in 1968, based in Stanmore. The concept of selling only frozen foods was a novel idea at the time, and Bejam grew out of Apthorp's existing family business of E. A. D. Apthorp, who were potato merchants, specialising in local deliveries in and around Edgware & Stanmore. Bejam also derived a small part of its revenue from the sale of electrical appliances with the Bejam brand name, mostly freezers and refrigerators, but also microwave ovens and dishwashers.

Bejam had bought the rump of the Victor Value chain of supermarkets from Tesco in 1986. In 1989, Bejam was bought by its rival Iceland, despite still being a success, and being three times bigger than Iceland. The shops were rebranded to carry the "Iceland" name, and are still trading as such today.

Apthorp also founded Wizard Wines, originally as a subsidiary of Bejam, but which demerged after the Iceland takeover. The chain would later acquire its rival Majestic Wine. Bejam is an acronym for Brian, Eric, John, Apthorp and Millie; the names of the Apthorp family members.


  • Adrian Room, Corporate Eponymy: A Biographical Dictionary of the Persons Behind the Names, Page 17, McFarland & Co, 1992, ISBN 0-89950-679-8
  • Adrian Room, Dictionary of Trade Name Origins, Page 38, Routledge, 1982, ISBN 0-7102-0174-5
  • David Boylan, Antony Head, Corporate Finance: Principles & Practice, Page 314, Pearson Education, 2007, ISBN 0-273-70644-6

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