Matalan sees strong Christmas trading

| January 13, 2010 | 0 Comments

Fashion and homewares chain Matalan has joined other major retailers by posting strong Christmas sales.

The retailer, which is traditionally based in out-of-town locations, said like-for-like sales for the 13 week period ending 2 January grew 9.3%, with like-for-like sales for the five weeks over Christmas and the New Year up 13.7%.

The chain, which has more than 200 stores across the UK, said its cheaper clothing and homewares were popular with shoppers seeking a bargain.

In a trading statement, the group said: “This performance is particularly strong considering it builds on the strong like-for-like growth and therefore strong comparators achieved last year in the same period.

“Against a backdrop of extensive discounting and promotional activity in the market as a whole, the company maintained its normal competitive promotional position and has further improved gross margins over the period,” it added.

Meanwhile, Alistair McGeorge, CEO of Matalan, said: “We are pleased to report this impressive performance in what continues to be a tough competitive environment.

“We are well placed to continue this growth and will be accelerating our rate of investment to drive this,” added Mr McGeorge.

Matalan’s figures follow strong results from Tesco, Peacocks, Poundland, Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Next, John Lewis and House of Fraser, who have all announced bumper Christmas trading this week.

Yesterday, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) announced that the High Street experienced the strongest December for eight years.

According to the BRC, like-for-like sales grew 4.2% by value during December as last-minute Christmas shoppers boosted sales.

The figures will almost certainly boost hopes that the recession has finally come to an end as consumers begin to spend again.

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