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Matalan announces impressive Christmas trade

January 2010

Matalan, the out-of-town discount retailer, has today issued a statement regarding Christmas trade showing an increase of 13.7% in sales. This comes at a time when founder John Hargreaves is looking to offload the business for £1.5 billion and would appear to be in the final throes of agreeing a sale. While Matalan has often attracted controversial headlines it is worth remembering that John Hargreaves acquired the business only three years ago by taking on £410 million worth of debt for full control. He looks set to cash in his chips and make a very impressive return!

Even though many people believed that the Matalan format was difficult to control and difficult to roll out, John Hargreaves has proven time and time again that he has his finger on the pulse of the UK retail market. If the £1.5 billion sale goes through, as expected, it will be interesting to see where his next business venture lies because this is an entrepreneur who is not afraid to take a chance and go against the market and traditional views.

Matalan is just the latest in a long line of UK retail companies which have reported better-than-expected sales over the festive period. Whether these will continue throughout 2010 very much remains to be seen.

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