|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (May 2011)|
|Type||Privately held company|
|Key people||John Hargreaves, founder and Chairman|
|Products||Clothing, housewares, mobile phones|
|Revenue||£1,100 million GBP (2013)|
|Website||www.matalan.co.uk Matalan Mobile|
Matalan is a British fashion and homeware retailer based in Skelmersdale, UK. It was founded by John Hargreaves in 1985. Matalan have 217 stores across the UK. 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 '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. This venture has now been discontinued.
Matalan's website, www.matalan.co.uk, allows customers to shop online. They offer a Click and Collect service that allows customers to pay online and pick up from their local store for free. Matalan have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ accounts as well as a YouTube channel offering fashion tips and news about new ranges available in store.
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 exchanges without the receipt.
- vouchers by e-mail OR post, including one on the cardholder's birthday;
- Spend £150 in 12 months using a red Matalan card and you will be given a VIP black card which gives the customer better and more exclusive vouchers.
- 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.
Matalan sell their own brands as well as other well known brands.
- Easy - casual wear
- Easy Classic - casual wear for older customers
- Taylor and Wright - suits, shirts, ties and formal wear
- 24/7 - a Jeff Banks range
- Farah Classic - designed by Farah
- W10 - designed by Julien Macdonald
- Calvin Klein and Pringle - a range of underwear and socks
- Papaya Weekend - casual wear
- Papaya Collection - Formal wear
- Papaya Classic - casual and formal wear for older customers
- Falmer Heritige - an Abercrombie-style range launched in 2011
- Rogers & Rogers - a range for larger women size 18 to 30
- Soon - a range of higher quality designs
- Philip - designed by Philip Armstrong
- Abbey - designed by Abbey Clancy
- Sloggi and Maidenform - underwear
- Disney - Disney licensed clothing
- Denim73 - Boyswear fashion for 8 to 16 year olds
- Candy Couture - Girlswear fashion for 8 to 16 years olds
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 have opened stores overseas, in countries including Jordan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Matalan own sports fascia Sporting Pro, which launched in September 2013. They have opened twelve stores across the UK in Walsall, Coleraine, Harlow, Colchester, Leeds (2 stores), Knaresborough, Stockton, Sheffield, Stockport and Wakefield, and Kensington.
Sporting Pro offer a similar Reward Card scheme as Matalan. With the Sporting Pro card, 1% of all transactions will be donated to SportingPromise. Sporting Promise is partnered by Matalan and Sporting Pro, as well as the Youth Sport Trust and aims to ensure children across the country have access to sports activity in school.
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), Exeter 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.
- Knowsley - the smallest of the three centres. Primarily for distributing bulk goods. Knowsley houses a small office complex.
Matalan is due to move to a new head office and distribution centre in Knowsley in late 2014. When this occurs, both the existing Skelmersdale and Knowsley distribution centres will be closed.
Rana Plaza Factory disaster
Matalan has received criticism for exploitative labour practices and for not living up to its responsibilities to workers who produce its garments. Matalan was amongst the companies who sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which collapsed killing 1129 people in April 2013.  In 2014, they were the focus of a campaign by 38 Degrees and Labour Behind The Label for failing to contribute to the official compensation fund co-ordinated by the ILO.  This was in contrast to some of their main competitors, such as Primark who contributed $9 million.  After pressure, they announced that they would contribute an undisclosed amount.  It was later revealed that they had paid £60,000  in to the fund, which labour rights campaigns challenged as being an insufficient amount compared with other retailers. 
- Reward Card Holder Offers Retrieved 25 October 2008
- "Pressure intensifies on Matalan to give to Rana Plaza fund". The Times. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "'If Primark can pay over factory collapse, why can’t Matalan?' - Telegraph". Telegraph.co.uk. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Primark Ethical Trading - Our Work in Bangladesh". Primark Ethical Trading. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Julia Kollewe. "Matalan donates to Rana Plaza victims' trust fund one day before deadline". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Press Release: Matalan slammed for "trivial" compensation payments to Rana Plaza victims". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "38 Degrees - Blog - Matalan: Only £60,000". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
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