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Matalan Retail Ltd.
  • Matalan (Salford) Limited (1987–1988)[1]
  • Matalan (Cash & Carry) Limited (1988–1992)[1]
  • Matalan Discount Club (Cash & Carry) Ltd. (1992–1998)[1]
Company typePrivately held company
Founded(1985; 39 years ago (1985)) in Preston, Lancashire
HeadquartersKnowsley, Merseyside
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease £1.1 billion GBP (2019)[2]
OwnerJohn Hargreaves & family

Matalan Retail Ltd. is a British fashion and homeware retailer based in Knowsley, Merseyside. It was established by John Hargreaves in 1985, and is still owned by the Hargreaves family. As of 2020, the company employed over 13,000,[2] and had 230 stores in the United Kingdom, together with franchise stores in the Middle East.[3]


A Matalan shop at Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (2007)

John Hargreaves opened the first Matalan store in 1985 at Bamber Bridge, near Preston, Lancashire. There were fifty stores by 1995, and in 1997, the company moved its headquarters from Preston to Skelmersdale, also in Lancashire.[3] The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1998, but taken private again by the Hargreaves family in October 2006.[4]

During 2009, John Hargreaves sought to sell off Matalan, but by February 2010, had failed to find buyers willing to meet the £1.5 billion price.[5] Jason Hargreaves was appointed managing director in July 2013.[6] The headquarters moved to a purpose built site at Knowsley, Merseyside in 2014.[3] The company won approval for this scheme in October 2012.[7]


Matalan was among the companies that sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh which collapsed, killing 1,134 in April 2013.[8] In July 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 coordinated by the ILO.[9] This was in contrast to some of their main competitors, such as Primark who contributed $9 million.[10]

After pressure, they announced that they would contribute an undisclosed amount.[11] It was later revealed that they had paid £60,000[12] into the fund, which labour rights campaigns challenged as being an insufficient amount compared with other retailers.[13]


Matalan Retail Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Missouri Topco Limited, a holding company which is based in Guernsey, and is controlled by the Hargreaves family.[14]

In the Middle East, the Matalan brand is franchised to BTC Fashion General Trading, based in Qatar.[15] BTC have stores in Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.[16]

There is also at least one store in Georgia (at the City Mall, Tbilisi).


In June 2020, Matalan confirmed that they would name a new chairman and a new chief commercial officer less than a month after John Mills stated he would step down from the board. Steve Johnson succeeded Mills as the next chairperson of the value retailer, while James Brown moved into the completely new Chief Commercial Officer position at the company.[17]

In March 2023, it was announced that former Co-op Food CEO, Jo Whitfield, would be joining Matalan as chief executive.[18] Whitfield served in various executive roles at Matalan between 2002 and 2008.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Matalan Retail Ltd. overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 25 February 1987. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b "Matalan Retail Limited – Annual Report 2019". Companies House. February 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Heeds, Chantelle (8 September 2019). "From stall to international company: The story behind Matalan". Lancs Live. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Matalan PLC: RNS announcement". ADVFN. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Matalan founder John Hargreaves to trouser £250m in refinancing deal". 11 February 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. ^ Holland, Tiffany (15 July 2013). "Profile: Matalan's new managing director Jason Hargreaves".
  7. ^ "Matalan wins approval for Knowsley move". 12 October 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  8. ^ Pagnamenta, Robin. "Pressure intensifies on Matalan to give to Rana Plaza fund". The Times. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  9. ^ "'If Primark can pay over factory collapse, why can't Matalan?' - Telegraph". 28 July 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Primark Ethical Trading - Our Work in Bangladesh". Primark Ethical Trading. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  11. ^ Julia Kollewe (30 July 2014). "Matalan donates to Rana Plaza victims' trust fund one day before deadline". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Press Release: Matalan slammed for "trivial" compensation payments to Rana Plaza victims". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  13. ^ "38 Degrees - Blog - Matalan: Only £60,000". 8 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Report and Accounts for Year Ended 23 February 2019 (Missouri Topco Limited)". Matalan. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Matalan". Gulf Mall, Doha, Qatar. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Matalan stores". BTC Fashion. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Matalan announces new chair and chief commercial officer". Retail Gazette. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  18. ^ a b Banham, Mark (27 March 2023). "Matalan appoints new CEO and chairman". Drapers. Retrieved 23 August 2023.

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