|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2011)|
|Type||Privately held company|
|Key people||John Hargreaves, founder and Chairman|
|Products||Clothing, housewares, mobile phones|
|Revenue||£1,049 million GBP (2004)|
|Website||www.matalan.co.uk Matalan Mobile|
Matalan is a British retailer that sells shoes and clothes. It was founded by John Hargreaves in 1985. The 200th store opened on 22 September 2006 in Croydon. The Chairman is John Mills and the Managing Director at Matalan is Jason Hargreaves.
Matalan's stores average 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2). The majority of Matalan's stores are based in out of town locations, based upon a concept that John Hargreaves discovered was successful in America, and that he launched in Preston in 1985. Each store is typically divided into four departments, Women's, Men's, Kids' and Homeware.
In May 2007, Matalan launched a new 'Partyshop' department at its Preston store named 'M Party'. This has now extended to around ten stores across the country including three in west Scotland. During 2008, M Party was rolled out to a further 55 stores within the company. In January 2011 the department was disbanded as not viable.
In December 2007, the company rolled out a new store format, following a trial and an increase in pre-tax profits. This mannequins and more stylish fixtures and fittings.
In 2010 the potential buy over of Matalan fell through after the buy-out companies interested could not meet the £1.5 billion price tag placed on the company by owner John Hargreaves . An offer of £1.3 billion was rumoured to have been rejected. Following the breakdown in any buyout, plans were made by Hargreaves to invest more money into the Matalan brand. As well as investment into the stores in the UK, plans are in place to open a further 5/6 stores in Scotland and plans are also in place about the possibility of opening Matalan's stores outside of the UK.
Matalan ventured into the mobile phone sector in September 2008.
A card system is used within its stores. As the years went on they changed the system so that anyone could join and get a Matalan card for £1
Around 2003 Matalan removed the £1 charge for the card and the card is now no longer needed to process transactions.
The card acts as an incentive to customers by offering them:
- cardholder discounts and exclusive offers;
- the use of the card enables a hard receipt to be stored on the store computer system, allowing refunds without the receipt.
- vouchers by e-mail OR post, including one on the cardholder's birthday;
- partner offers;
- mailer updates on products and offers.
In 2006, Matalan trialed a reward scheme using points on the Matalan card in Scottish stores. At the same time, a keyfob was introduced as an alternative to the card, similar to Tesco Clubcard. However Matalan did not roll out this scheme to the rest of the stores, and concentrated on offering more to the customer in store.
During 2007, Matalan began to trial an in-store cafe concept to attract more customers into stores. M Cafe's menu was based around healthy options, selling food and drinks with little or no sugar. The cafe itself was based around the shape of a coffee bean, with dark brown and stainless steel fittings creating a contemporary setting.
In addition to their traditional stock management, Matalan operate a number of concessionary product offers in store. These include:
- Jewellery - provided for men, women and children by firm DCK.
- Books - traditionally located within the homeware department near the tills. Stocked by Webb.
'Shop-in-shop' layouts across the stores include:
- Et Vous - ladieswear.
- Soon - relaunch of a Matalan ladieswear brand in 2007, mainly for older customers.
- Sports Shop - sportswear for men, women and children. Brands available include Fila, Umbro, PGA Tour and Everlast.
- Be Beau - catwalk-inspired fashion brand, launched in 2009.
- Falmer Heritage - an Abercrombie-style range launched in 2011.
- 24/7 - men's casualwear designed by Jeff Banks.
- Lee Cooper - men's casual fashion, relaunched in 2009.
- Influence - home accessories from household names including Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, Anthea Turner, Antony Worrall Thompson, Gino D'Acampo, Linda Barker, Martine McCutcheon, Jane Asher and James Tanner, launched in 2009.
As the UK economic downturn took hold in late 2008, value retailers such as Matalan began to benefit from the more cost-aware spending of the UK consumer base, as well as the demise of rivals such as Woolworths and Ethel Austin. This was in addition to store refurbishment, stock and marketing revision, and debt repayment. Increased revenue allowed Matalan to begin expanding again, and opening new stores for the first time in three years.
As well as expansion in the UK, Matalan has announced plans to open stores outside the UK
To make sure that season ranges are given full attention upon launch, Matalan converted a small selection of its stores into clearance outlets. These stores are stocked through stock uplifts from regular branches, where old stock is taken in mass (often the culmination of 2 or more sale periods) and supplied to clearance branches. Matalan dustbin stores are generally selected from branches that are nearing the end of their lease or are located in an area which is commercially viable for a store of a clearance nature. Matalan has clearance stores in Blythswood (Renfrew, near Glasgow Airport), Newport, Wood Green (London) and Sunderland. There are also stores in Portadown and Swindon, however these are both due to close.
Matalan goods are distributed to shops from three distribution centres:
- Skelmersdale - adjacent to the head office buildings, the Skelmersdale DC delivers to stores primarily in the north of the UK. The centre is made up of two buildings, one of which supplies goods directly to stores. The SDC is also the base of Matalan's logistical operation.
- Corby - the most recently opened depot, supplying stores in the south of the UK. Corby DC is owned by Matalan, but is operationally run by logistical contractor Wincanton.
- Knowsley - the smallest of the three centres. Primarily for distributing bulk goods. Knowsley houses a small office complex.
Because Matalan's logistical operation is run by Wincanton, goods are relayed through Wincanton's depot in Scotland, to ease pressure on Skelmersdale and allow Scottish stores to receive goods more quickly. In the earlier years of Matalan, a distribution centre was also situated in Leyland, not far from the head office in Preston. However, as the company expanded in size around the turn of the millennium, Leyland was closed and the distribution centre was moved to Skelmersdale along with the head office.
Wincanton lost the contract on 25 February 2012, and all distribution is in house.
- Reward Card Holder Offers Retrieved 2008-10-25
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